It can be said that our nation's prosperity is tied to the prosperity of our rural communities.This is especially true in Arkansas, where agriculture has always been a tradition and a big part of our economy. However, the irony of it all is that the same families who have spent centuries in rural Arkansas, producing food for thousands across the globe, now live in areas where food is most scarce. The numbers speak for themselves; so do the stories:
A man in his 20s in Van Buren County is unable to find work in an area where there are very few jobs, and those available are more concentrated in low-wage industries.
An elderly woman in Dumas dreamed she was standing in a large room and handing out food to people of all ages and races who were reaching their hands up to her. She awoke from the dream saying, "Help them all; help them all." Her husband woke up too and asked, "How can you help all of them when you don't have anything to help yourself?"
And in Eudora, a mother of two drove 15 miles to the nearest pantry, only to be turned away because they didn't have enough food to support anyone outside their area.
These are just some of the harsh realities that those in rural Arkansas face on a daily basis. And that's why the Foodbank has become more aggressive than ever in feeding Arkansas' underserved counties.