In September, we recognize Hunger Action Month. It’s a time not only to raise awareness throughout our country and in Arkansas, but also for all of us to take action to combat hunger and eliminate food insecurity. Raising awareness is important, but without taking action, Arkansas will not be able to help the thousands who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity.
Hunger, a period when people face severe food insecurity – meaning that they go for entire days without eating due to lack of money, access to food, or other resources continues to plague Arkansas families especially as grocery costs have increased by more than 17% between 2020 and 2022. In Arkansas, 467,550 people are facing hunger – and of them 134,690 are children. That means nearly 17% or 1 in six Arkansans and 20%, or 1 in 5 children are facing hunger compared to 10.4% and 12.8% nationwide.
These numbers are unacceptable. All Arkansans should have enough food to eat every day. Access to high quality, healthy foods is a basic human right that helps people develop fully and reach their full potential.
We don’t have to accept the status quo in Arkansas. Here are some simple steps you can take during this Hunger Action Month:
- Learn about the status of hunger nationwide and Arkansas.
Looking at the latest data can help you understand the issues that families facing hunger are having to deal with. You can look at Feeding America’s Hunger Facts to see how Arkansas compares to national statistics. Check out AACF’s Hunger Issues page to see what issues we have been working on, what policies we support, and important reports about hunger and food insecurity in Arkansas.
- Get active in a campaign to support the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
This year Congress is set to renew the Farm Bill which includes the single greatest program that we have to combat hunger, SNAP. You can find facts about how SNAP helps, who is on SNAP in Arkansas, what bills have been introduced to make SNAP even better for families, and what priorities are for this Farm Bill. You can also encourage your legislators to protect and improve SNAP by completing our action alerts on SNAP and sign up to receive future alerts via email. You can also sign up for our newsletter to get notices about hunger issues.
- Get involved locally.
You can learn a lot about the issues in your community from your local hunger advocates. Attend the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s Hunger Action Breakfast or you can volunteer at your local food bank or one of the six regional food banks. You can also volunteer to work on hunger policy.
- Donate to help us expand our advocacy.
AACF does not accept state or federal funding so that we can be an independent voice raising the best policies for families and children, but our work isn’t free. We rely on individuals and national funders to support our advocacy, research, and training. But it is individual donations that help us expand our policy work by building coalitions with partners, hosting outreach events around the state to recruit new advocates, and lobbying at the state and federal level. Your support positions us to be even more effective advocates for Arkansas children and families.