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Bill Clinton joins volunteers at Arkansas food bank service project


LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Former President Bill Clinton joined volunteers at a local food bank on Sunday to pack up and distribute boxes of sweet potatoes to those in need.

The community service event was part of the 10th anniversary of the opening of Clinton's presidential center in Arkansas, where he served for more than a decade as governor.

Clinton thanked teams of volunteers who were placing about 80,000 pounds of sweet potatoes into boxes to be distributed by the Arkansas Foodbank around the state. "You're almost out!" he said to one volunteer, noting that her team had nearly depleted the 5-foot-tall white sack containing sweet potatoes donated from Mississippi.

Rhoda Sanders, the food bank's chief executive officer, said the organization, which is operated based on mostly private donations, helps many families access food for a few days a month when their pay checks run out. She said Clinton's decision to hold the event at the warehouse "elevates what we do."

Arkansas Foodbank estimates that 1 in 5 Arkansans do not know where their next meal is coming from.

The "day of action" was part of a four-day celebration at the Clinton center. Clinton officials said attendees at a Saturday night concert featuring Kool & the Gang and Nick Jonas donated about 4,000 pounds of canned food items, which were donated to the food bank.

The events come as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton considers another presidential campaign in 2016.

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