Governor Mike Beebe (D) used his weekly radio address to call attention to child hunger in the state. Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows Arkansas as one of the top ten states facing food insecurity.
Governor Beebe said 24 percent of children in the state face uncertainty having enough to eat on a regular basis but the state has made progress.
“Through our summer feeding program this year, we fed 64 percent more people than we did in 2012. A total of 3.7 million meals were provided at more than 750 sites statewide,” said Beebe.
Beebe said summer feeding programs are important because many children relying on subsidized meals provided at schools go hungry during the summer months when school's no longer in session.
“This success will breed more success, because it gives Arkansas access to more federal funding to fight hunger. These are funds we need, because even with this increase, we're still feeding only a fraction of the children in the summer that we feed during the school year,” said Beebe.
Beebe noted much work remains to be done and says there are still some counties without a single summer feeding site.