Local & Regional News
2:09 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Fall Conference to Discuss Healthcare, Food Insecurity in Arkansas

State and region officials will attend a fall conference hosted by the Delta Grassroots Caucus to discuss a number of issues affecting Arkansans.

The conference, which will be attended by gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross, will focus on aspects of the new healthcare law, recent Farm Bill developments and the SNAP nutrition program. According to Caucus Director Lee Powell, the latter is among the biggest topics since eastern Arkansas has been suffering from food insecurity.

"The SNAP program is going to be cut November first when the stimulus benefit boost runs out," Powell said. "If the 40 billion-dollar cuts go through as well ... that would have a devastating impact on the delta, where we have major nutrition problems anyway."

Powell also says the organization advocates job creation, which may be a solution to many issues facing much of Arkansas.

"Jobs would help tremendously," Powell said. "If more people had decent-paying jobs, they wouldn't have to depend on SNAP spending as much."

The conference will also feature points provided by several nonpartisan experts on the new healthcare law and the current state of the economy.

Representatives from Tyson Foods, the Arkansas Food Bank and the Pine Bluff-based nonprofit TOPPS will also be in attendance.

The conference will take place Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18 at the Memphis Agricenter.