Insights > 'Zero Hunger' a top priority for Entergy Arkansas

'Zero Hunger' a top priority for Entergy Arkansas


Addressing food insecurity

Hungry bellies are not only painful, but they distract from the important things families need to focus on to live their best lives. By donating dollars and hours to foodbanks across the state, Entergy Arkansas employees address a huge issue in the state, where 1 in 4 people lives in poverty and 17% face food insecurity.

Entergy’s focus on poverty solutions is rooted in the economic reality of the region we serve. Our service territory encompasses areas some of the highest poverty states and counties in the nation.

Unfortunately, food insecurity is not unique to Arkansans. In fact, zero hunger is one of the top two United Nations Sustainability Goals, and we align our Corporate Social Responsibility goals closely with the group. The top two are “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger.” Across all four states Entergy serves, we have a goal of providing 1.5 million meals through 2023 and 18,000 volunteer hours.

Entergy Arkansas routinely lands in the top three in terms of volunteer hours with the Arkansas Foodbank Network, the largest hunger relief agency in the state, based in Little Rock but serving more than 300 pantries and soup kitchens in more than 33 counties. Additionally, the company donates thousands of dollars to it each year, along with many other food pantries across the state.

Last year, we partnered with several summer feeding programs aimed at providing meals to children who are normally served through their school district. We also funded meals to seniors through Area Agencies on Aging, which deliver daily meals to seniors who are homebound.

Through the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, we support programs such as the SNAP Outreach Team, which typically worked in communities to help determine SNAP eligibility, answer questions, and works as a liaison with the Department of Human Services on behalf of applicants. As a result of the pandemic, the team were no longer able to safely go out into the field and help people apply for benefits. In response, they created the SNAP-Ark Call Center, a hotline to help Arkansans apply for SNAP, follow up with application questions, and check the status of their benefits.

Board Service

One intentional way Entergy Arkansas serves its communities is through volunteer service on various nonprofit boards. John Bethel, director of public affairs, currently serves as secretary on the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance board of directors.

Our many partners, which also includes the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, are also important in raising awareness of the economic, academic and social impact hunger has on our state. We know that people who have access to nutritional food in adequate amounts have less stress and therefore the ability to be their best in so many areas, as an employee, student, parent, friend and citizen of their community. These partners are making an effort each day to help those in need.