The food is provided to the schools and children at no cost. However, each year member schools partner with their respective communities in an effort to raise funds to ensure the beloved program continues to grow in its invaluable support.
Rector Elementary sought assistance from the many caring individuals and organizations in the small community, uniting to give back to the Arkansas Rice Depot. Through the Adopt a School fundraiser, local organizers were able to raise $2,660 by selling colorful "bricks" which comprised the construction a schoolhouse on a large poster displayed in the RES hallway. Each brock sold featured the name of a student or loved one as chosen per donor. The final piece of the poster was added in the large gold bell atop the schoolhouse. The Rector peewee football program won the bell via silent auction with a bid of $250.
"Our goal was $2,400 and we were able to surpass that," RES principal Nate Henderson said. "On behalf of myself and the faculty here, I want to thank everyone who supported our efforts to give back to the Arkansas Rice Depot. We see the benefits of this program firsthand, and I can tell you it is a wonderful thing."
Rector has long been a partner school in the Food For Kids program.
"The Food For Kids program is outstanding. The Arkansas Rice Depot does outstanding work throughout the state by helping these kids. Nutrition is important not just in education, but in these students' lives and natural development. Poor nutrition can lead to a variety of health problems which can plague these kids throughout their lives."
The Food For Kids program is special not only to the hearts of those currently in the community, but also those who call the area home. Rector native Neal Wimberley, now of Little Rock, is part of the Arkansas Rice Depot's executive board. Seeing the importance of the program at the large scale state level, Wimberley has been in contact with Henderson, thanking Rector Elementary and the community for their efforts in supporting Food For Kids.
"This program helps so many," Rector School Board member Michael Lindsey said. "We're happy to be able to give back and show our appreciation and support. Anything that helps that many children is a wonderful cause and worthy of everyone's support."