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New report from the Arkansas Foodbank shows how the state’s hunger situation is getting worse



Little Rock, Arkansas – New data on food insecurity presented by the Arkansas Foodbank today showed a growing need impacting communities throughout the Natural State.

Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”

According to the Foodbank’s study, there has been a significant increase in food security in central and southern Arkansas from 14.5% to 17.6% overall over the previous year.

This rise corresponds to 45,040 more Arkansans who are now having everyday difficulties obtaining adequate food.

For the youngsters in the state, the circumstances are very bad. According to the survey, the percentage of this group experiencing food insecurity has increased from 19.6% to 25.6%, which means that 1 in 4 children living in these parts of the state are deemed to be food insecure.

The study also reveals stark differences between racial and ethnic groupings. According to the Foodbank, nearly one in three Black residents in their service region experience food insecurity, with the rate rising from 24% to 29%. By contrast, just 1 in 7 White people and 20% of the Hispanic group experience food insecurity.

“Last October, the public may recall that the USDA ranked Arkansas number one for food insecurity. This data from Feeding America about our state, while not a surprise, is heartbreaking, and energizes all of us to rally around the solvable challenge of hunger,” Arkansas Foodbank CEO Brian Burton said.

Burton added, “We hear from our pantry partners every day how much pressure they are under, serving more people more often who face rising rents, food inflation, and a changing economy. The rollback of government assistance post-pandemic, which also is not a surprise, increases pressure on families already under stress. Many of these folks are working multiple jobs but not making sufficient wages. They turn to their local food pantry to supplement their households so they can keep their heads above water.”

“The Arkansas Foodbank and our partners throughout the state’s charitable food distribution system are making strides in efficiency, focusing resources and targeting vulnerable populations like children and seniors,” Burton said. “We are asking the public to stay engaged and to continue their generous sharing with our nonprofit sector. We are the vanguards of those who fall through the social safety net when it is overextended. This is a crucial time to summon our collective will and raise our voices to place a bright spotlight on this worrisome trend in every corner of our state.”


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