Skippy® Yippee™! This household product has been around since the early 1900s and has been a large part of the Little Rock, AR industries since 1977. Roger Vos, the Plant Manager at Skippy Foods, has been a resident of Saline County since 2013 and thus a large part of the Saline County annual tradition of the Salt Bowl.
“I have worked for Hormel Foods for 33 years in a variety of areas. My family and I moved to Arkansas in 2013 when the company acquired the SKIPPY brand,” Vos stated. The attractive school systems brought Vos and his family to Saline County where his children attended and currently attend school within the city of Bryant. “Our two oldest children participated in choir, swimming, track, and cross-country. Our youngest will be a junior in the fall at Bryant High School. She plays volleyball and is active in the Best Buddies and Special Olympics at school,” Vos said. Before relocating to Arkansas, Vos’ wife was a school teacher and administrator.
Serving on the Salt Bowl committee since their arrival to the state in 2013, Vos was approached by Shane Broadway of the Salt Bowl Committee to see if Skippy Foods would be interested in partnering with the Salt Bowl to participate in the peanut butter drive. “I kept hearing about the Salt Bowl being a big deal. We had no idea what big meant until we saw over 25,000 fans fill the stands; most of them decked out in Bryant blue or Benton maroon. It is a great experience,” Vos said.
Now, after years of participation in the Salt Bowl, Skippy Peanut Butter is one of the primary sponsors, according to Vos. Hormel Foods and Skippy Foods have a history of being active in the community of which their employees work and live, so the Salt Bowl offered another avenue of which to participate. “It is great to be able to give back to the community and truly impact the lives of those around you,” Vos said. Each year, Skippy Foods donates peanut butter to have a large impact on the Salt Bowl Peanut Butter Drive.
The Salt Bowl has partnered with the Arkansas Food Bank for the past several years to help aid in the gathering of food to assist with the epidemic of childhood hunger in the state and around the communities of Benton and Bryant. According to the Arkansas Food Bank, 26.3 percent of Arkansas children have limited access to food, one in five of Arkansans struggle to have enough food for their family and Arkansas ranks first in the nation for very low food security and second in the nation for the sense of food insecurity.
The partnership between the Salt Bowl and the Arkansas Food Bank not only brings awareness to the issue of hunger but it also instills a sense of giving into the students of both schools at an early age. Hormel Foods, also a partner with the Arkansas Food Bank, has donated more than $30,000 since 2014 to fight hunger throughout the communities of Arkansas.
The Salt Bowl is another venue of which the Arkansas Food Bank is assisted. “Beginning Monday, August 21st until Thursday, August, 31st, students, parents and residents can bring their peanut butter donation to any school in the Benton or Bryant school districts,” Vos said. If you are resident of Saline County and wish to donate to the Peanut Butter Drive, please feel free to drop off the peanut butter at any school of the district you wish to assist in the competition. A trophy will be awarded to the school that brings in the most peanut butter.
The peanut butter that is donated during those few days in August is shared among the food banks in Saline County that are partnered with the Arkansas Food Bank. “Each year the Salt Bowl Peanut Butter drive – thanks to a match from Skippy Foods – brings in well over 25,000 pounds of peanut butter, making our drive the largest donation of peanut butter to the Arkansas Food Bank each year,” Vos concluded.
Don’t you want to be a part of that? Give back to your community by donating peanut butter to any Benton or Bryant school August, 21st- 31st. Help the Hornets and Panthers fight hunger in our communities!