needs to be done to significantly move the needle on childhood hunger.
Annual Conference 2022 Presentation: Slides (PDF)
What is an ACE? Potentially traumatic events in childhood that are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems later in life. ACEs can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential.
- Families with low income & experiencing high levels of parenting or economic stress
- Communities where families frequently experience food insecurity
- Communities with high rates of poverty
ACEs can be prevented in
- Families where caregivers can meet basic needs of food, shelter, and health services for children
- Children who do well in school
- Children who have caring adults outside the family who serve as mentors/role models
- Communities where families have access to medical care and mental health services
Join us on Saturday, February 11 at Conway FUMC to learn more about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences in lives of the children, youth, and adults we encounter in our faith work and how creating trauma-informed ministries can create safe places for all to heal.
In 2014, the Annual Conference voted to unite in mission to fight childhood hunger in Arkansas. Over the years, we have seen the number of food insecure children in Arkansas drop from 200,000 to 149,670 before the pandemic (estimates are now that 1 in 3 children were food insecure during the pandemic.) At least 86% of our churches (540) have or are providing food to hungry children and their families, and 200,000 More Reasons has distributed more than $300,000 in small grant awards to help support congregations in their feeding ministries.
Feeding ministries allow families to spend their limited income on other necessities like rent and utilities. However, the relief is temporary in so many cases. More needs to be done to significantly move the needle on childhood hunger. We recognize that unless we address the root causes of poverty, especially for those living in generational poverty, our impact cannot be as significant as it needs to be for Arkansas’ children. In 2020, the Arkansas Annual Conference approved an expansion and extension of the work of this initiative.
As 200,000 More Reasons, we are asking churches to add poverty alleviation strategies to their ministries with hungry children. Specifically, we will focus on literacy and promoting healthy, stable families as means of hope, assistance, and the opportunity for families to move out of poverty.
Our mission remains the same: 100% of Arkansas United Methodist churches will participate in an initiative to significantly reduce childhood hunger through feeding ministries, public witness, and education for long-term stability. 200,000 MORE Reasons expands the understanding of education and long-term stability, believing that in working to alleviate poverty, we have the best opportunity for ending childhood hunger in Arkansas. Your ministries can provide access to food now; greater learning potential for the child in the future; and, opportunities for living without food insecurity for the next generation.