One in four Arkansas children face food insecurity, and in some rural counties, that rate is even higher. Children need nutritious food to grow and thrive, and they need it every day. Unfortunately, over 87,000 children in Central and South Arkansas are food-insecure, meaning they aren’t sure when or where they’ll receive their next meal.
The impact of childhood hunger is immediate and long-term. But with community-wide support and programs that seek to reach children—whether at home during the weekend, after school or through the summer—we can ensure children receive the food they need to grow and thrive as individuals, perform better in school and have improved emotional and physical development.
At Arkansas Foodbank, we use three strategies to create access to nutritious food for children experiencing hunger: backpacks, school pantries, and summer feeding sites.