Food Sourcing & Logistics
Our Food Sourcing & Logistics Department helps our member food banks access healthy and nutritious foods.
No Kid Hungry
AR Beef Project
Food Sourcing & Logistics is responsible for assisting Alliance member food banks to access nutritious food. This is achieved through several programs in the department aiding with:
Produce sourcing & acquisition
Protein sourcing & acquisition
Food Safety & Training
Disaster Relief Coordination
ARkansas gleaning & Gardening project
What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is the biblical practice of hand-gathering crops left after harvest.
“I never want to plow under produce I’ve grown when there are hungry people who need it. I feel good about donating what’s left in my fields and growing a little extra.” —Randy Clanton Clanton Farms Bradley County, Arkansas
Annual Gleaning & Gardening Events
Turnip for Hunger
In the late fall/early winter we host an annual harvesting event, Turnip for Hunger. Volunteers gather in the field to help pick and load turnips for transport before enjoying traditional harvest games like turnip toss and turnip sack races. All turnips harvested are distributed through the Arkansas Foodbank.
Every summer, volunteers with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance harvest our five-acre watermelon patch at Stone Links Park in North Little Rock. In addition to harvesting melons, participants enjoy watermelon fun and games! Watermelons harvested are distributed through the Arkansas Foodbank.
Be part of the solution
Gleaning is a great opportunity to reconnect with the earth and learn more about food sources. For school and civic groups, Sunday school classes, scout troops and others, gleaning offers lessons in cooperation, community service and compassionate giving.
If you or your group would like to be involved in our gleaning efforts, we encourage you to sign up to be a volunteer and subscribe to our Alliance newsletter. You’ll find out about upcoming gleaning events and how you can participate.
ARkansas beef Project
PARTNERING WITH CATTLEMEN & FARMERS
The Arkansas Beef Project, a program from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance in partnership with the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and Farmers Feeding the World, offers cattle ranchers a unique opportunity to provide a much-needed source of protein to many Arkansas children and families in need.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, yet many Arkansans cannot afford to buy meat on a regular basis. When they can, it often has a very high fat content. Similarly, food banks don’t have reliable sources for affordable meat protein. The Alliance is grateful for the support of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Arkansas Cattle ranchers and other protein producers, such as lamb and pork, can donate to the Arkansas Beef Project. All donated protein is distributed in one or two-pound portions to food banks and food pantries across the state to help food-insecure Arkansans have a reliable source of protein. For more information contact Brandon Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michelle Shope at email@example.com
Brandon Chapman, a fourth-generation farmer, is the Food Sourcing & Logistics Program Manager and leads the Arkansas Gleaning & Garden Project. Brandon was first introduced to the Alliance when his farm made its first donation to the Arkansas Gleaning Project in 2009. He joined the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance team in April 2016 and uses his agricultural skills managing the Arkansas Gleaning and Garden project, which has produced over 13 million pounds of nutritious food for the Alliance network. The project also includes hunger gardens totaling over 15 acres throughout the state. Brandon is trained in the Food Safety Modernization Act in order to keep the food we grow safe.
He and his family were honored as the Farm Family of the Year for the Eastern district of Arkansas in 2017. Brandon serves on the Pulaski County Extension Advisory Committee.
Michelle Shope joined the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance in August 2005 as the Director of Food Sourcing & Logistics. Michelle’s food industry experience spans 37-years. She is a ServSafe instructor/proctor and is Food Safety Modernization Act trained. Michelle has used her years of experience to acquire more food for the charitable food network. Michelle and her team grow and glean specialty crops and work closely with cattlemen and processors to increase access to nutritious food. Having been with the Alliance since its inception, Michelle has helped create and manage numerous programs that help their members serve Arkansans in need.
Michelle serves on the Board of Directors for Shepherd’s Hope Neighborhood Medical Clinic, helping those without medical and dental insurance get the care they need. In 2023, Michelle received the Living Your Values Award from Feeding America.
Are You In Need?
We would like to help you find the resources you need.
The Alliance Alert goes out to members, advocates and others who want to stay up on hunger issues in Arkansas. See our latest newsletter.