University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

In 2012 and 2013, Arkansas ranked first in the nation in food insecurity in both categories of “low food secure” (21.2%) and “very low food secure” (8.4%). The Cobblestone Project developed a hunger relief donation partner, The Farm, in order to help address food insecurity in Northwest Arkansas. In spring 2014, The Farm partnered with the University of Arkansas to 1) better understand the demographics and need of hunger relief organizations, 2) calculate the impact of donations to hunger relief organizations, and 3) assess satisfaction of donations from The Farm to hunger relief organizations. A series of surveys were targeted to hunger relief organizations that The Farm serves to meet these objectives. Statistical analyses of survey data provided the following results: 1) Demographics and needs of hunger relief organizations: there were no significant differences in demographics served (age and gender) among organizations that put different values on hunger relief in their mission statements. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the number of people served and the functional type (pantry, soup kitchen, in-house) of the organization. 2) The impact of donations: during the 2014 harvest, 10,863 kg of food were donated by The Farm impacting a total of 12,598 recipients. 3) Satisfaction regarding the quality, quantity and diversity of the commodities donated: there is a difference in usefulness of produce that is easily prepared with known recipes and for large amounts of people. This survey showed bell peppers, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and lettuce to be considered most beneficial.

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