Advocacy Staff Pitches in at Local Food Bank
By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel
The Office of Advocacy has hosted numerous Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables across the country to hear directly from small businesses and other small entities about which federal regulations are most burdensome and in need to reform. Following these roundtable meetings, Advocacy staff frequently visit with local small businesses and industry leaders to discuss their businesses to better understand how regulations impact them. These visits have included everything from small farms to manufacturing plants to construction sites to warehouse/distribution centers to transportation facilities and many more. They are a great learning experience for Advocacy staff, and local small businesses are eager to showcase their operations.
Following Advocacy’s roundtable in Jonesboro, Ark., on June 4, Advocacy staff visited a local charity called the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas. Not only did Advocacy staff – along with staff from the SBA’s National Ombudsman’s office – tour the facility and learn about their mission to help feed those in need, SBA and Advocacy staff actually pitched in to sort and pack cans of food for distribution to needy people around the area.
The small non-profit Food Bank of NEA has been in operation since 1983 and has distributed more than 30 million pounds of food throughout Northeast Arkansas. Its core activity is to accept and distribute donated bulk food that would otherwise be destroyed from local and national manufacturers, retailers, and growers; it also offers backpack programs for students and senior food services for the elderly. The donated bulk food is stored, sorted, and redistributed to local charities across the region who provide the food for those in their communities.
As the Outreach Coordinator for the food back, Jennifer Hannah explained, “There is tremendous need for their services across the region as there are many people in need who would otherwise go hungry.” She also noted that the non-profit food bank relied heavily on volunteers and frequently receives assistance from local groups and civic organizations who provide their time and energy to help out. It was great to visit a local small charity with such a dedicated and caring staff, and the Office of Advocacy was happy to lend a hand.
Advocacy was in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables June 4-6.
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For more information on Advocacy’s mission, our regulatory reform efforts or to find out where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables will be held, please visit: https://advocacy.sba.gov/regulation/regulatory-reform/.
Bruce Lundegren is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes safety, transportation, and security. Lundegren can be reached at email@example.com.