Our Story

Not only is hunger unacceptable, but hunger hurts! Of course, we all know about hunger pains, they certainly hurt.  But when people go hungry because rents, utilities, medicine and even car expenses come first, hunger takes a physical and emotional toll.  Hunger even hurts has an economic impact as inconsistent food intake affects productivity, absenteeism and punctuality.

At the River Valley Regional Food Bank, we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable; that everyone deserves access to enough food; that food sustains life and nourishes health; and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgement.

The food bank had a humble beginning. Back in June 1986, the Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council recognized a need for a food bank to assist local hunger relief agencies.  Steady growth continued until the recession of 2008 hit the area hard.  Skyrocketing need was met a passionate response as the food bank grew to become a 7 million pounds food provider.

Where We Are Today

The food bank serves eight counties in West Central Arkansas, where just over 305,000 people reside. We source the most nutritious foods we can find and provide that food to about 62,000 people in the area.  A total of 196 member agencies create a far reaching network of food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, churches and nonprofit groups that get food to people in need of assistance.

 

We are a member of Feeding America, a national organization supporting more than 200 food banks across the country. We are also a member of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.  As a community partner of the United Way of Fort Smith Area, we support our other UW partners in any way we can.
See our latest Network Fact Sheet

Our Mission & Vision

Our MISSION To solicit, store and distribute food and related products through a network of private, not-for-profit organizations while providing service programming that feed and assist hose in the River Valley in need and raising public awareness about hunger and food banking’s role in alleviating it.

Our VISION is a hunger-free West Central Arkansas and a community prepared and ready to respond to and recover from manmade, terroristic or natural disasters.

Our Values

Respect towards all
Provide with grace
Integrity matters
Serve with passion and conviction
Stay accountable to the community
Embrace diversity
Remain good stewards of all that is gifted

Let no one go without needed sustenance within the 5,800 square mile area we serve.

Counties and Cities We Serve

Crawford County:  Alma, Cedarville, Chester, Mountainburg, Mulberry, Natural Dam, Uniontown, Van Buren

Franklin County:  Altus, Charleston, Ozark

Johnson County:  Clarksville, Hartman, Ozone

Leflore County, OK:  Spiro

Logan County:  Booneville, Magazine, Paris

Polk County:  Mena, Wickes

Scott County:  Mansfield, Waldron

Sebastian County:  Barling Bonanza, Cecil, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Hackett, Hartford, Huntington, Lavaca, Midland

Yell:  Havana, Ola