In an historic move to more effectively eliminate hunger in Arkansas, the Arkansas Foodbank and the Arkansas Rice Depot announced Thursday, after approval from both organizations’ boards of directors, plans to merge effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The two nonprofits have long been dedicated to serving hungry Arkansans through various programs reaching school-aged children, college students, families and seniors.
The merger will allow existing programs of both organizations to continue, as well as expand, reaching even more in need due to gained operational efficiencies, the two groups said.
The current names and legacies of both AFB and ARD will be evident in the new structure, officials said, and all staff members will be retained due to the expansion of programs.
“I am thrilled by the exponential potential that this merger will create,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank. “Both organizations exist to alleviate hunger, and we will be more effective in doing that together.”
“The new organization not only has a goal of increasing the amount of food distributed, but also the nutritional value of the food served,” added Kim Aaron, president and CEO of the Arkansas Rice Depot.
Both AFB and ARD will continue operating independently until the January merger, with all programs and special events continuing as planned.
Additional information regarding the structure, plans and goals of the merged organization will be announced at a media event to be held in the coming months, the two leaders said.