Arkansas Rice Industry Celebrates Rice Month in Capital City

On Thursday, September 13, the Arkansas rice industry celebrated Rice Month in Little Rock by joining Governor Asa Hutchinson at the State Capitol to join his official state proclamation declaring September as Arkansas Rice Month. Following the proclamation announcement, the rice industry delivered a very generous donation of Arkansas grown rice to the Arkansas Food Bank which helps to deliver food to areas of the state where poverty and hunger needs are the greatest.

MEDIA CONTACT: W. Cade Bethea, 870.456.0285,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2018
Arkansas Rice Industry Donates Over 134,000 Pounds of Rice 
in Honor of Rice Month  
Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas rice industry donated 134,695 pounds of rice to the Arkansas Food Bank in honor of National Rice Month today. The donation from seven mills will provide nearly 1.5 million servings of rice to help feed families, children, and seniors all across the state.
Participating rice mills are Cormier Rice Mill of DeWitt, Windmill Rice Company of Jonesboro, Riceland Foods of Stuttgart, Producers Rice Mill of Stuttgart, Riviana Foods of Carlisle, Golden Ridge of Wynne and Specialty Rice of Brinkley.
“The Arkansas rice industry is committed to being good stewards of our resources and helping to alleviate hunger in our state ,” Arkansas Rice Council President Jeff Rutledge said. “We take great pride in our partnership with the Arkansas Foodbank and appreciate their efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.”
September is also Hunger Action Month. More than 549,000 Arkansans struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in four children who may not have enough to eat. This rice donation will go in to weekend backpacks for children, food boxes for home-bound seniors and will fill the shelves at food pantries for families in need.
The rice will be distributed across the state to the five Feeding America food banks: River Valley Regional Food Bank in Ft Smith; Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas in Jonesboro; Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana; Arkansas Foodbank in Little Rock; and Northwest Arkansas Food Bank in Springdale
“For so many Arkansans, rice is an important staple item on their dinner table,” says Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders. “With one in six in our state struggling with hunger, today’s generous gift from Arkansas Rice farmers will ensure that our neighbors in need can enjoy many meals to come with their families.  The total pounds donated on Rice Day and throughout the year will be divided evenly by the 75 counties within our state and distributed by each county’s Feeding America food bank to fill backpacks for children, food boxes for home bound seniors, and shelves at pantry’s for families in need.”

Governor Hutchinson visits with rice industry representatives including the Arkansas Rice Federation and the Arkansas Food Bank following Thursdays proclamation signing at the Capitol.

Arkansas Rice Council President Jeff Rutledge speaks Thursday to visitors of the Arkansas Foodbank including Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders and Arkansas Foodbank Board members.
Arkansas is the largest rice-growing state in the nation, producing nearly 9 billion pounds annually. This year, Arkansas family farmers will produce over 50 percent of the nation’s rice for the first time in history. Arkansas rice farmers and millers contribute over $6 billion each year to the state’s economy and employ over 25,000 Arkansans.
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