Sadly, the annual Map The Meal Gap report shows that more than 17% of Arkansas Households do not have access to enough food.

The rate is even higher for Arkansas children at 24%, according to the report.

Kathy Webb, executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance feels as the the government policies designed to help economically are not reaching those in the most need.

"When the economy improves in general, we have fewer people suffering from hunger," she states. "But when we fail to increase wages for minimum wage workers, that improved economy doesn't help everyone."

The report shows that more than 500,000 Arkansans struggle to get enough to eat, and of that total, one in four is a child. Webb shared the meaning of "food insecurity," which is defined as a lack of access to enough food for a healthy life and limited or uncertain availability of nutritional foods.

Webb also explained how hunger hits young children particularly hard.

"When kids are not able to focus on their schoolwork, that lessens the educational achievement and that has a negative impact on opportunities that the child might have as well," she explains.

Fortunately, organizations like Feeding America, and its national group, works with food banks to provide meals for the food insecure, although their limited resources often fall short of providing for everyone in need.

To read the report:

https://map.feedingamerica.org/