Baptist Health Partners With Multiple Groups To Provide Free Boxes Of Produce For Underserved

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Today, Baptist Health leaders rolled up their sleeves and hand-packed boxes full of fresh, locally-grown produce that will be delivered to those in need as the kickoff for the Farmbox2Family Charity Food Box Program.

The idea to help low income families, especially those in areas that have little to no access to fresh produce, blossomed from Richard Tanner, one of the many local farmers who participates at the Baptist Health Farmers Market. The farmers market began last year under the Little Rock hospital’s parking deck and is the brain child of Troy Wells, Baptist Health CEO and president. Wells thought the market would be a well-worth investment if it encouraged employees and local residents to improve their overall health by eating healthy.

Today’s kickoff included a prayer of blessing on the FarmBox2Family food boxes by Wells and food samples served up by several chefs who whipped up dishes based on the type of produce that was included in the boxes. The first boxes will be given to local families and individuals in Little Rock identified by the Arkansas Department of Health and later in July to residents of Altheimer. The overall goal is to provide free produce boxes to 1,000 families this first year.

Through his relationship with the healthcare system, Tanner was able to share his idea of feeding Arkansans in need with the Baptist Health Foundation who in turn found partners and sponsors to help get the program off the ground.

More than 14 Little Rock restaurants, 16 professional chefs, the List-Penick FarmBox2Family Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Department of Health and Pulaski Tech Culinary and Hospitality Institute have partnered with Baptist Health to provide an efficient method of sourcing fresh, healthy produce for high need, low-income individuals and communities, while also supporting local Arkansas farmers. Along with produce, this program will provide Arkansans in need access to nutrition education and information, recipes and cooking demonstrations which will show how to utilize the produce they receive.

One of the goals of the program is to equip recipients with the tools and education to change their eating habits to healthier ones. Another goal is to educate the underserved on how they can afford continuing to receive healthy foods by using SNAP benefits. Locally, SNAP is now accepted at the Baptist Health Farmers Market. The Little Rock farmers market is every Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. throughout the summer.

Baptist Health is a proud supporter of Healthy Active Arkansas – a plan endorsed by the governor and the Arkansas Hospital Association focusing on nine areas tied to increasing the health of Arkansans through healthy dietary choices and increased physical activity.

With more than 175 points of access, including eight hospitals, Baptist Health is the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system committed to delivering “All Our Best” to Arkansans. To learn more about Baptist Health, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.

Full list of sponsors, chefs and partners


Baptist Health
Baptist Health Foundation
The Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation
Boulevard Bread Company
Brave New Restaurant
Cheers in the Heights
Clinton Presidential Center
Dugan’s Pub
Green Leaf Grill
Loca Luna
Red Door Restaurant
Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill
Skye’s Little Bistro
Stratton’s Market
South on Main
The 1836 Club
The Farm Box, Tanner Farm
Yellow Rocket / Lost Forty

Participating Chefs:

Chef Mark Abernathy
Chef Gilbert Alquinez
Chef Matt Bell
Chef Peter Brave
Chef Stephen Burrow
Chef Brandon Douglass
Chef Donnie Ferneau
Chef Todd Gold
Chef Mark Guizol
Chef Jamie MacAfee
Chef Scott McGehee
Chef Chris McMillian
Chef Trace Munday
Chef Mike Selig
Chef Chris Tanner
Chef Len Thompson

In Partnership With:

The List-Penick FarmBox2Family Foundation
Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention
Arkansas Department of Health
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
Pulaski Tech Culinary and Hospitality Institute