The Board of Directors of the Degen Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the River Valley Regional Food Bank and $5,000 to the Community Services Clearinghouse to help provide food to needy families in the region.
Funds to the food bank will help provide a Christmas ham dinner to more than 3,500 area families. Hams have been secured from Walmart and Harp's Stores and will be distributed throughout the area.
"We found that the food bank could touch many lives quickly during the Christmas season. As a Foundation, our mission has always focused on those most in need and underserved. It is our hope that the gift of these hams will provide a better Christmas to our fellow citizens,” said Tom Webb, executive director of The Degen Foundation.
The Foundation awarded $20,000 to the food bank with the stipulation that the funds purchased holiday hams where the service areas of both organizations intersect. The Degen Foundation serves Leflore, Sequoyah, Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Scott counties.
The hams arrived at the food bank on Monday (Dec. 16) and will be distributed throughout the week with 600 hams going to hunger relief agencies in Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Scott counties.
"With only chicken products from the USDA currently in inventory, this gift is not only generous, it's Providence!," said Ken Kupchick, director of marketing for the food bank. "The Degen Foundation put a holiday meal into 3,500 homes and perhaps put a little wiggle room into their budgets to warm up their holiday.”
Funds to the Clearinghouse will provide 200 families a full Christmas dinner.