It is estimated that more than 20 percent of Arkansas households are food insecure. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance also estimates that 1 in 3 children in the state are facing food insecurity.
Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.
September is Hunger Action Month. This is an annual campaign dedicated to driving awareness and inspiring action to help end hunger in America, both at a national scale and in local communities.
Many families are making tough budgeting decisions while facing rising grocery prices. Now is a good time for communities to collectively act against hunger. You can choose to donate or advocate. You can choose to volunteer at your local food bank or raise awareness.
In the 2021 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed the Excess Food Distribution. This allows a public school or open-enrollment public charter school to distribute excess food to students for consumption on the school campus or at home.
The 93rd General Assembly also addressed food insecurity with the passage of Act 418. This act created the State Meat Inspection Program. Without a state meat inspection program, it was prohibitively expensive for food banks to receive and distribute meat. This act will make it easier and less costly for Arkansas food banks to provide senior citizens with meals containing high amounts of protein and other important nutrients.
Arkansas has six Feeding America food banks. These food banks are at the heart of the Hunger Relief Alliance network of hunger relief organizations. The food banks serve as giant distribution sites for millions of pounds of food and other relief items that go out into the regions they serve. In 2021, these six food banks distributed more than 90 million pounds of food.
We encourage Arkansans to find ways they can help. You can opportunities near you at www.arhungeralliance.org.