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Arkansas Foodbank receives rice donation

The Arkansas Rice Federation pledges thousands of pounds of Rice to The Arkansas Food Bank.
University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture
University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture
The Arkansas Rice Federation pledged thousands of pounds of rice to the Arkansas Foodbank on Wednesday.

To celebrate Arkansas Rice Month, the Arkansas Rice Federation is donating 240,000 pounds of the grain, or about 1.8 million servings, to the Arkansas Foodbank. On Wednesday, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined in the event, which is also part of National Hunger Action Month.

“Not only does the Arkansas Foodbank thrive and help so many families and communities across our state,” she said, “but to see them partner with our rice community is such a special and important thing.”

Northeast Arkansas rice grower Jeff Rutledge said he’s excited about continuing the partnership between the two organizations.

“We consider it an honor as an industry to help those less fortunate,” he said.

Arkansas is the leading supplier of rice in the country with millions of pounds of the grain produced in the state each year. Gov. Sanders announced Arkansas Rice Month via a proclamation the same day.

Bryan Burton, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, felt it was a happy day.

“And it all started in 1982, when rice farmers in Arkansas realized two things: they had a surplus of their crop and they knew there were many people who were hungry in their state.”

He said with this new donation “will flow out into every county across our state.”

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.