- State Program Coordinator:Destiny Schlinker
For more information on getting involved with FoodCorps in Arkansas, please contact Destiny.
Why Serve in Arkansas?
You might not have thought about Arkansas recently. Deemed “the Natural State”, Arkansas is a hidden gem full of friendly folks, fantastic food and natural experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. We’re that state between Texas and Mississippi, a bit off the beaten path, but we like it that way. While large-scale farming of corn, soybeans, rice, and poultry plays an important role in our state economy, we also boast a strong gardening culture. To many people in the rural parts of our state, gardening used to, and still does, mean not only survival, but a labor a love. Now, our gardens are cultivating healthy futures for our kids. We know we have a lot of work to do, and thankfully some amazing people to help us do it.
To us, Southern culture means good food, good people, and fierce devotion to the land.
These sentiments have made Arkansas a culturally diverse and welcoming home for those who serve with us. In districts across the state, our service members have helped to host taste tests and farm to school events that have now developed into long-term relationships with farmers and permanent farm to school programs. They are also participants in the statewide Arkansas Farm to School Collaborative.
What does this look like day to day? This looks like dedicated service members hosting hands-on culturally relevant activities in the garden, classroom and cafeteria, hosting camps and clubs, and engaging deeply in their communities. Sprinkle in the occasional chicken, too; there really is nothing better!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology—Southeast Office is a national nonprofit with regional offices in six states, including Arkansas. Founded in 1976, NCAT’s mission is to help people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. We do this through a wide variety of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture projects, most notably ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. NCAT’s Southeast Office in Fayetteville is actively involved in sustainable community development, local food, and farmer education projects.