Foods for Life

Van Buren County “Food’s For Life”
PO Box 753, 599 Highway 65B
Clinton, AR 72031

Fax & Phone 501-745-2332
Open two days a week, Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 to 3:00.

Isaiah 58:10 says “Feed the hungry and help those in trouble.”

Food’s For Life was established in 1988 as a non-profit organization to distribute food to needy families in Van Buren County, as well as seniors on Social Security, individuals on SSI, disability, grandparents raising grandchildren, those on welfare, and last but not least those working.

There are government guidelines for the amount of money a family can make and still qualify for USDA products.  The food distributed other than USDA has no guidelines.

  • In 2016, Foods for Life served over 3,000 families. Average family gets about 5 days’ worth of food plus commodities per visit (once per month).
  • Foods for life also distributes baby formula and baby food when available, as well as soap, shampoo, laundry soap, toilet paper, hand soap when donated.
  • Overhead expenses for rent, water, gas – electric, insurance, telephone this amount is close to $600 per month.
  • Donations of money are received from churches, individuals, and businesses.
  • Purchases: We purchase items from local stores such Cash Saver and Wal-mart. We also make a trip to Little Rock once a month to the Food Bank and Rice Depot.
  • The Rice Depot average is 47 cases at a cost of $23.50 the USDA commodities average 86 cases at the cost of $0.
  • The Food Bank average is 87 cases cost $847. Most food from the Food Bank is not FREE. We pay $.18 a pound for mixed items and wholesale for cases.
  • We make a trip to Rose Bud to purchase eggs once a month. We get 90 dozen we pay for and receive 90 dozen free. This works out to be $.40 to $.60 a dozen.
  • Food prices are up 10% and clients are up 22% seniors up by 46%. Over the past 10 years our numbers have continued to climb. With the tornado and the close of Pilgrim’s Pride we have seen an increase in new clients.

The volunteers involved including the Board do not receive pay.  No one gets paid. The Board meets quarterly and at the end of the year a meeting is open to the public. There are nine members on the board, and anyone interested can be part of the board. There is one manager and two volunteers to work the store on Tuesdays and Fridays, 15 volunteers that sign up and out of that number 6 are clients.

The volunteers repack food items into smaller quantities (e.g., 4 Cups of Flour and 2 Cups of Rice, Dried Beans, Sugar). They bag groceries for distribution as the clients come in.

2014 Hunger Run DonationHOW YOU CAN HELP: 

  • Pray for our organization and those individuals that volunteer their time.
  • Participate in special food drives especially during Holidays.
  • Donate:  Money, clean containers, used grocery bags, YOUR TIME.
  • We can send out “In Honor Of” and “In Memory Of” cards for special donations. If you would like to donate to recognize those special people in your life this is a way you can help our organization. This was suggested by a family in our community that was tired of trying to find the right gift for the individual that has everything. We mail cards to the families to let them know of the donation and post the names in a special place in the store.

Stories:

There was a family of 5 that moved into the area and was out of work.  The mother home schooled the children and came in for help just until her husband could find work.  The 2 children helped to load the car with the items we gave them.  About one year later after her husband had been working and they were on their feet this woman returned with her two children and a car load of food for the pantry.  They have continued to make donations to us and what a lesson she taught her children.

Single Mother of five children hasn’t been at the store for six months.  Now that school is out she has returned for help to get through the summer.

Family of four whose husband is on a military disability can’t make it from month to month on his disability.  This woman was also a volunteer for a number of years now she has cancer and can’t work, but they continue to need help.

A couple with children came for help.  They divorced the husband is now supporting us with money.  The wife still comes with the children for help.

A lot of our families are having trouble buying food because they have to decide if they buy the medicine or food they need.

                    Served
Year       Families       Adults         Children
2003    962        1694        1170
2004    939        1587        1124
2005    923        1514        1131
2006   1015       1671        1209
2007   1152       1881        1309
2008   1186       1980        1271
2009   1895       3123        1810
2010   1844       2998        1563
2011   2171       3502        1711
2012   1798       3089        1487
2013   2051       3682        1651
2014   2475       4622        2049
2015   2760       5316        2240
2016   3004       5902        2484