This year marks the 20th anniversary for the THV11 Summer Cereal Drive benefiting the Arkansas Foodbank Network. It also marks the ninth year that Arkansas’ electric cooperatives have participated in the event.

According to the Arkansas Foodbank, many children rely on free and reduced-price meals provided during the school year, and when school is out, these children often face food insecurity. The Summer Cereal Drive was developed to fill the void summer leaves for children across the state. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have donated more than 107,200 boxes to date.

AECC and AECI make the drive fun and engaging for employees, and this year is no exception!

Kari Pope, senior human resources generalist, said, “Our goal is 15,000 boxes of cereal. We’ve all felt the effects of the current pandemic, and the Foodbank is also feeling the impact. We have the best bunch of employees and member systems, and I know we can count on them to support the Foodbank.”

Pope is part of the cooperatives’ Summer Cereal Drive committee, which also includes: Jenni Sudduth from Legal; Connor Olsen and Chris Bridges from Planning and Market Operations; Denver Johnston from Finance and Accounting; Judi Shipps from Information Technology; and Tory Bowren, Sarah Littleton and Chemia Woods from Human Resources and Strategy.

Committee member Judi Shipps says, “The committee has had to think outside the box this year with the pandemic. It was challenging, but we’ve come up with some
cool ideas.”

The drive has evolved into a year-long event, especially because employees can now choose to make payroll donations on a one-time or recurring basis through UltiPro. The drive officially ends June 23 with a wrap-up meeting scheduled for June 24.

Connor Olsen sums up the purpose of the Summer Cereal Drive by saying, “Each year AECC, AECI, and the member systems set a goal (to beat Southwest Power Pool) to raise funds to benefit the Summer Cereal Drive. Overall, the drive’s goal is to provide meals to youth who are unable to have access to meals every day during the summertime.”

For more information on contributing to the Summer Cereal Drive, contact Kari Pope at 501-570-2280 or

You can also donate to the electric cooperatives’ team directly at: