Rhonda Sanders is the CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank. The Arkansas Foodbank acquires, processes and distributes over 25 million pounds of food a year to 33 counties in Arkansas. In January of 2016, the Arkansas Foodbank and the Arkansas Rice Depot merged to form a new and stronger organization focused on helping those in need have access to nutritious food. Under Rhonda’s leadership, the new organization is set to distribute 27 million pounds of food in 2017 which will provide enough food for approximately 22 million meals.
Prior to becoming the CEO in April 2013 she was the director of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network where she worked to develop and expand a statewide network of preschool home visiting programs by raising awareness of home visiting and ensuring quality home visiting programs are available in every county in the state to serve the maximum number of children possible. She came to the Arkansas Home Visiting Network in January 2012 from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance where she served as the executive director for four years. During her tenure as the Alliance executive director, the organization merged with the Arkansas Hunger Coalition to form a single statewide organization focused on hunger with over 100 members across the state. While at the Alliance the Arkansas State Food Purchasing program, the Arkansas Gleaning Network and the Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign were successfully implemented. Additionally, during this time Rhonda served on the Arkansas VOAD as member and chairperson where she led the Arkansas VOAD during multiple disaster relief efforts and planning for long-term preparedness.
Previously Rhonda worked for Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families for 14 years where she served as the Director of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs. Ms. Sanders was a founding member of the Natural Wonders Partnership Council and was a co-author of the first Natural Wonders Report in 2007. Rhonda is a member of the Children’s Behavioral Health Care Commission and served as a member of the Child Health Advisory Committee for ACT 1220 from 2003 to 2008. During her tenure on the committee, the Body Mass Index project was implemented in Arkansas and State Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards for Schools were adopted by the Arkansas Department of Education. She is currently a member of her local school board in Bryant, AR and serves on multiple committees, boards, and task forces to help improve the well-being of vulnerable Arkansans. She is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a degree in Accounting and received a Master in Public Health from the UAMS College of Public Health.