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PNS Daily News - May 24, 2017 


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Public News Service - AR: Poverty Issues

State and federal proposals to cut Medicaid have many low-income Arkansas families concerned about losing access to affordable health care. (GettyImages)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Low-income families in Arkansas have seen significant improvements in health care under the state's expanded Medicaid program, but proposed changes could put those gains in jeopardy. A new study says states, including Arkansas, that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable

Food banks play a key role in the fight against food insecurity, sometimes called the meal gap, in Arkansas and across the U.S. (GettyImages)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The rate of food insecurity is improving across Arkansas, but a new report shows the state remains the second worst in the nation for people's overall access to healthy food. The study from the group Feeding America says in 2015, overall household food insecurity in the s

Thousands of Arkansas residents could lose out on Medicaid coverage if state lawmakers approve a freeze on new enrollments.  (AMRImage/iStockphoto)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With an estimated 330,000 people enrolled in Arkansas's expanded Medicaid program, state lawmakers are now taking steps to freeze enrollment. The state adopted a plan that uses Medicaid funds to buy health care from the insurance marketplace for those eligible, and the nu

Arkansas schools are ranked seventh in the country for the number of low-income students in the School Breakfast Program. (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The annual School Breakfast Scorecard ranks Arkansas seventh in the nation for the number of low-income students who participate in both breakfast and lunch programs. The report from the Food Research and Action Center charts the progress of its national push to increase t

In Arkansas, African Americans' median incomes are 42 percent lower than whites'. (Brandis Griffith Friedman)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - If current trends continue, a new study says it would take the average African-American family 228 years to accumulate the amount of wealth the average white family has today. It will take the average Latino family 84 years to do the same. The "Ever-Growing Gap," a report by the

Legislation currently under debate in Congress could force schools to reapply in order to participate in free meal programs. (USDA)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Two bills to renew childhood nutrition programs are being debated by Congress, and advocates say if they are approved, it could become harder for schools to offer free meals to students in need. Under the microscope is the Community Eligibility Provision, which permits school s

A grant program is geared toward getting more Arkansas children to eat fresh food. (Virginia Carter)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Almost $17 million in grants are heading to organizations that help feed the hungry with the goal of getting low-income residents to eat healthier. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance has been awarded $94,000 for a pilot program to let SNAP recipients double their benefits at far

Eight in 10 children who get free lunch at school don't participate in summer meal programs, according to Hunger Free America. (Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Eighty percent of the children who get free lunch at school don't participate in summer meal programs, mostly because their parents and guardians aren't aware of them, according to the anti-hunger group Hunger Free America. Joel Berg, the group's chief executive, is pushing the

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