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Author, Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Gifts $3M to Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

Jonesboro, February 25, 2021—The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas announced the organization received a charitable gift totaling $3 million from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

In a public blog post titled “384 Ways to Help” author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced over $4.1 billion in gifts to charitable causes across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas was one of the 384 organizations that received a portion of Scott’s generosity.

According to Scott’s blog, she and her team used research and data to inform how she would distribute funds. Scott and her team thoughtfully curated a list of 6,490 charitable organizations that exhibited strong leadership and proven results. They paid special attention to organizations operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital. Upon thorough review and deeper investigation, the final list was pared down to 384 organizations, resulting in a one-time gift of $3 million to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.

“We know that it will take a while for those affected by the pandemic to get back on their feet, and this financial support will equip the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas to continue responding to immediate needs while also planning for the next five years,” said Christie Jordan, CEO for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.

Jordan said that the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas plans to use these funds to increase access to nutritious food to people facing hunger in Northeast Arkansas through their Fresh Produce Program and their Food Pantry Network. The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas will increase their food purchase program to secure items for their Food Pantry Network that are not frequently donated. Additionally, the Food Bank will source fresh fruits and vegetables that will be distributed through both food pantry locations and mobile pantry distributions.

“The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas is in a unique position,” Jordan said. “Because of our previous capital campaign, our organization is debt free and our building and equipment is in great shape. This allows us to direct Ms. Scott’s gift toward our programs that will give people facing hunger increased access to nutritious food.”

In 2020, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas distributed the equivalent of 8.6 million meals—an increase of 2 million meals over the previous year. According to Jordan the Food Bank also made critical investments in their partner agencies by purchasing and gifting equipment to them so they can receive and distribute more food to their neighbors.

“We are incredibly honored to be included among the organizations benefitting from Ms. Scott’s generosity,” Jordan said. “Our team works incredibly hard to be efficient and effective in our mission of hunger relief. Ms. Scott’s recognition of our work is as important as the financial gift she has given. Many times Arkansas nonprofits are overlooked for major gifts such as this.”

About the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas provides hunger relief to people in need by raising awareness, securing resources, and distributing food through a network of non-profit agencies and programs. The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas provides the equivalent of 165,000 meals each week to people facing hunger. The Food Bank works in partnership with 140 non-profit partner agencies and programs in 12 counties in Northeast Arkansas. These counties include: Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, St. Francis, and Woodruff. Additionally, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas is a member of Feeding America, a national network of food banks. Through our many partnerships, every $1 donated can help provide 4 meals. For additional information, please visit our website www.foodbankofnea.org. You can also find the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas on Facebook @FoodBankofNEA, Twitter @foodbankofnea, and Instagram @foodbankofnea.

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