Arkansas ranks second in the percentage of people living with food insecurity according to a report released this week by the Department of Agriculture. It says nearly 20% of Arkansans don’t know where their next meal will come from and the state also ranks first in the category, “very low food security.”
Tyler Lindsey with the Arkansas Food Bank says they’re watching as Congress considers reducing funds for SNAP, commonly referred to as food stamps.
“Of course we are watching it because any sort of thing, any sort of cutting like that to SNAP, cuts will only just increase the burden on us and the other food banks in the state and across the country frankly,” said Lindsey.
He said the perception of people struggling to provide food is often wrong.
“One of the major misperceptions of it all is that these people aren’t working. Actually the majority of people who are on SNAP are in the workforce and work full time jobs. They are supporting families of four. Some might be grandparents who are supporting grandchildren in the household. A lot of these folks are hardworking Americans,” said Lindsey.
Reports also show Arkansas as the state with the greatest number of seniors experiencing food insecurity. Lindsey said the amount of food and volunteers needed at the Arkansas Food Bank has risen in recent years and they expect it to rise again this year.