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story.lead_photo.caption File Photo/CHARLIE KAIJO R.M. Lang, 4, of Springdale eats a fresh orange at the Samaritan Community Center in Springdale during a Northwest Arkansas Food Bank pilot program to move fresh produce to allied agencies more quickly.

The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is looking to gather enough treasure at the ninth annual Jewels of Giving Gala on Friday to be able to provide 1.8 million meals to those in need in the coming year. For every $1 raised, the nonprofit organization can provide 11 meals, according to Mike Williams, food bank development director.

The cocktail attire benefit will feature dinner, silent and live auctions and an after-party with dancing to music by DJ Brock. Items on the live auction block include a $10,000 Sam's Furniture home makeover, a trip for four to Disney World and a catered hog roast for up to 50 people.

Jewels of Giving

Who: Northwest Arkansas Food Bank

What: Dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers

Tickets: General admission, $125; VIP, $250

Attire: Cocktail

Information: (479) 872-8774 or

Williams said the nonprofit organization's programs are expanding to meet increasing demand. The region is growing and "while good things grow, so do need and poverty."

The bulk of the group's efforts involves working with some 160 partner agencies ranging from food pantries to soup kitchens, shelters and many more in Benton, Carroll, Washington and Madison counties to help more than 70,000 Northwest Arkansans who are food insecure. In 2016, the group distributed more than 11.4 million pounds of food to partners, an increase from 8.2 million in 2015. Williams said the bank is on track to distribute more than 13 million pounds in 2017.

Aside from helping supply charitable organizations with food and other donations, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank operates programs such as the Senior Mobile Pantry and SNAP Outreach.


NAN Profiles on 11/12/2017

Print Headline: Jewels turn into treasure for NWA food bank

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