Doing Good: The NWA Food Bank

The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank provided nearly 11.5 million pounds of food in 2016, which provided almost 7,000,000 meals. As September comes to a close, it also wraps up the national Hunger Action Month campaign, which highlights the need for volunteers and donations at the food bank. However that need is a year-round issue they still need your help with. 

"The food bank could not perform the level of service we perform right now, without volunteers," Northwest Arkansas Food Bank Development Director Mike Williams shared. 

The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank secures donations from food and grocery industries, government agencies, and other organizations, but the volunteer labor it takes to sort and store the donations is essential to impacting the 150 partner agencies that rely on the food bank to feed the staggering number of people, who are food insecure. 

"In 2016 alone, we had over 2,000 volunteers provide over 8,000 hours [of labor]," Williams said. "That's an economic impact of over 60,000 dollars for our region, and that's a budget savings for us because we don't have to hire labor to do that."

While volunteer labor will always remain a key component to the food bank's success, there is another need they could use your help with.

"Increasingly, we're finding that we're in need of skills-based volunteers; volunteers who can enter data, volunteers who can  perform some graphic design duties, things like that," Williams explained. "So volunteers are vital to the work we do here at the food bank."

Williams said he believes the food bank is able to provide you with an escape from your normal life by empowering you to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

"So often, in a day to day grind of your work, you can kinda' get caught up in those duties," Williams pointed out. "So coming out to the food bank as a volunteer is a great way get out of the office, have some fun with your team and have a sense of purpose that's bigger than yourself."

Though September is almost over there is still time to contribute to the Hunger Action Month campaign. The NWA Food Bank is also focused on the month of November for their big annual fundraising benefit; which features an evening of dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions, and is the largest fundraising event of the year for the food bank.

The Jewels of Giving Gala event will be held on Friday, November 17. With your help the food bank can provide the much needed food for those in need. The goal for the 2017 Jewels of Giving Gala is to secure 4.1 million meals for the food insecure in Northwest Arkansas.
 
The gala is Black-Tie optional, with VIP access at 6:00 p.m. and the official banquet getting underway at 7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more about it, as well as how to volunteer. 


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