Hunger and Nutrition

Download this handout: Hunger and Nutrition

The State of Hunger in Arkansas

Arkansas has a rich hunting and agricultural history. Our state contains acres of incredibly fertile soil and even claims bragging rights as the rice and duck capitol of the world. Yet, a surprisingly large number of Arkansans suffer from hunger and food insecurity.

In Arkansas, 518,960 people are struggling with hunger; 167,440 are children, meaning one in four, or 23.6 percent of Arkansas’s children are at risk. In fact, Arkansas ranks second in childhood food insecurity nationwide, only behind New Mexico.

Helping Kids Eat and Be Healthy

There are programs available to lessen the burdens of hunger and food insecurity for families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. During Fiscal Year 2017, SNAP reached over 388,000 Arkansas residents. Also, local organizations like the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Feeding America food banks, and statewide hunger agencies have formed collaborative relationships to more effectively meet the needs of the hungry within our state. These groups work to increase the availability school breakfast, and afterschool and summer feeding programs.

What to Ask Candidates

  • With Arkansas’s hunting and agricultural history, why do you feel so many Arkansans are food insecure?
  • How will you ensure that all children and families in Arkansas have access to nutritious food?
  • What can be done to help serve the 28 percent of Arkansans who are eligible for SNAP but do not participate?

Download this handout: Hunger and Nutrition