THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS, December 15, 2022 — The Arena Foundation today announced a partnership with Little Red Box Grocery, a neighborhood grocery store working to address the endemic issue of food deserts, starting in Houston’s Second Ward. Arena Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Arena Energy, LLC, a leading independent oil and gas exploration company focused on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf.
Launched in May, Little Red Box Grocery is bringing healthy and affordable food to the Second Ward, an area that has been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a “food desert,” which is defined as a low-income community where a substantial number of residents cannot easily reach a supermarket or large grocery store.
The Second Ward, like other food deserts, has low access to fresh, healthy foods, but high access to unhealthy alternatives. That has led to higher-than-average rates of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
Little Red Box Grocery owner Samuel Newman opened the 800 square foot retail location as a “third place” for the neighborhood. “We wanted to build a store for everyone. A true gathering spot for Second Ward residents, and a counterpoint to current neighborhood grocery offerings that are either inconvenient or offer high costs and poor choices, specifically when it comes to fresh produce and pantry essentials,” said Newman. “Little Red Box is grateful to have this sustained and committed support from The Arena Foundation, which will help us offer more products to—and provide better service for—our customers and our community.”
“The Little Red Box Grocery store is bringing healthy, affordable and convenient food to an area that has gone without for too long,” said Arena Foundation President Ben Pigati. “Arena’s roots in Houston run deep, and we are proud to support Little Red Box Grocery as they work to fight food deserts here in our hometown and beyond as they expand into future areas of need. Approximately 40 million Americans including 5 million Texans live in food deserts with little access to healthy food options. This must be addressed, and we are grateful the Little Red Box Grocery team is working towards a solution.”
About the Arena Foundation
The Arena Foundation was created in 2008 to provide support for nonprofit organizations in the Gulf of Mexico region and around the world. The Foundation is funded entirely by the owners of Arena Energy, LLC, and Arena Offshore, LP, and donates to a variety of humanitarian causes based on need, giving priority to projects that are particularly meaningful to our employees. They submit nominations to a four-person board, which allocates contributions to those recipients we believe we can impact most significantly.
About Arena Energy
Arena Energy, LLC was founded in 1999 on the belief that mature producing areas of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf still held vast potential—and that with the right technology, talented oil and gas finders could unlock these drilling opportunities. Today, that vision has been realized many times over. Since its founding, Arena has grown into one of the largest private offshore oil and natural gas companies, having invested more than $4 billion of capital in the Gulf of Mexico, paid $1.4 billion in royalties to the federal government, and decommissioned over 300 wells and 45 platforms and other structures. Arena takes pride in safely and responsibly producing the energy that powers the United States and the world.
About Little Red Box Grocery
Little Red Box Grocery is a small format community grocery store located in Houston’s historic Second Ward, an area that lacks ready access to healthy and affordable food. Our vision is to be a good food access point for all, a new take on the corner market: fresh foods + meal kits + grocery staples, with a focus on community engagement and empowerment.
Vice President – Government Affairs