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The prevalence of hunger in America is shocking. One in six Americans does not get enough food to eat, and Arkansas’s record is worse still. According to the latest census figures, Arkansas is tied with Mississippi as the most food insecure state in the nation with 19.2 percent of residents experiencing insufficient amounts of food within the last 12 months. Although we have made strides in reducing the incidence of childhood food insecurity — taking Arkansas from 1st in child hunger to 9th — that is simply not good enough.

Hunger and the issues surrounding it are many and vast. They touch all of us in some way through policy decisions, legislation, public opinion and conscience. By understanding hunger and the factors that influence it, we can begin to manage its effects on our society.


Hunger FACTS


    • More than 560,000 people in Arkansas are food insecure. Food insecurity refers to lack of access to enough food to support an active, healthy life. Food insecurity may or may not be a constant state for any given family, with some people going back and forth between having enough food to eat and not.

 

    • More than 200,000 children in Arkansas are at risk of hunger and not getting the food they need to lead healthy, active lives.[Feeding America Map The Food Gap Report; 2009 data published in 2010]

 

    • More than 28 percent of children in Arkansas live in poverty. [Half in Ten Report 2010]

 

  • Nearly 30 percent of households with children in Arkansas struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families in 2010. [FRAC Food Hardship Report-children]

 


Resources


Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap report provides data about household and childhood food insecurity at the state and county levels.

Food Research and Action Center’s Food Hardship in America 2012 report looks at food hardship rates in states, regions and in select metropolitan areas.


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