Childhood Hunger in Rural Communities

HUNGER IN RURAL COMMUNITIES IN ARKANSAS

Most AR counties have approximately more than 25% of their children facing hunger. There is greater food insecurity in rural areas, particularly in those counties that are persistently impoverished, those counties who have had high rates of poverty for decades. The pandemic revealed how hard it is to get food to children in rural areas who rely on access to food at school. And yet, many great organizations including Feeding America and No Kid Hungry found ways to solve the problem.

FAITH COMMUNITIES can be part of the SOLUTION!

For more information about your county, please use this interactive map from Feeding America.

Arkansas has at least 7 counties where child food insecurity is well above 30%:

County % with Income Eligible for Federal Assistance # of Food Insecure Children
Phillips 54% 1850
Jackson 83% 1060
Desha 58% 960
Chicot 66% 850
Monroe 53% 520
Lafayette 69% 400
Woodruff 56% 400

Without proper nutrition, children experience poorer physical health; have lower reading and math test scores; and, are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems.

Access to food becomes particularly difficult when children are not in school: over the summer, during holiday breaks, and after school. This article highlights the benefit offered by federal waivers for food to be delivered to places where Arkansas’ children are over the summer (versus rural children having to come to the school to get food): Advocates Worried More Rural AR Kids May Go Hungry This Summer

To learn more about how to help with RURAL CHILDHOOD HUNGER:

If you are exploring how your church can help feed hungry children, especially in rural areas, contact Mary Lewis Dassinger at mdassinger@arumc.org.