The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the already unstable food insecurity situation in Arkansas, as many households lost jobs and income due to the economic downturn. The USDA has implemented various programs and initiatives to address food insecurity in Arkansas, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which assists low-income individuals and families to help them afford food.
Despite these efforts, food insecurity remains a persistent problem in Arkansas. Many households in the state still struggle to access adequate, nourishing food, and the state's high poverty rate means that many people are at risk of experiencing food insecurity. Six to fifteen percent of the state is facing low or very low food security, the highest percentage of any state in the country.
To manage this problem, it is important to address the root causes of food insecurity in Arkansas, including poverty, lack of access to healthy food options, and absence of education about nutrition. This will require a multi-pronged approach that involves government policies, community programs, and individual efforts to ensure that all people in Arkansas have access to sufficient sustenance.
Many other states have trouble with food insecurity as well. In South Carolina, 2.1 million households faced food insecurity between 2019 and 2021. This equals 12.6 of residents facing low levels of food security and almost six percent facing very low food security levels.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Texas also face these struggles, each with between five and six percent of the population facing very high percentages of food insecurity. This equates to millions of households struggling to eat and feed their families. Because of the large population of the state, Texas had an estimated 10.76 million households with food insecurity issues in the two years between 2019 to 2021.
As is true in Arkansas, the way to resolve these problems and help to increase food security requires states to address the causes of food insecurity. Factors such as low wages, access to healthy food, and community resources and programs can all affect the levels of food insecurity within a state. Focusing on these areas will help to ensure more people are able to receive the food they need.
Households Facing Food Insecurity (2019-2021 avg)
% of US Households with Low or Very Low Security
% of US Households with Very Low Security
|District of Columbia||342,000||9%||2.8%|