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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Kamala Harris rapidly picks up Democratic Support - including vast majority of state party leaders; National rent-cap proposal could benefit NY renters; Carter's adoption support: Empowering families, strengthening workplaces.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Food insecurity continues to rise in Arkansas

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

The Arkansas Food Bank said it's prepared for an increase in food demand as we go into the summer months.

The latest "Map the Meal Gap" report from Feeding America showed food insecurity in the state jumped from 14.5% to 17.6% in a year.

Brian Burton, CEO of the Arkansas Food Bank, said the need for food assistance has not returned to pre-COVID-19 numbers and inflation and the end of pandemic subsidies have made things tougher for families. He explained the current state of the economy is causing recipients to return to the food bank multiple times per month.

"Folks who have been caught in this vortex of inflation, low-pay employment, folks that are in transition," Burton outlined. "Special, vulnerable groups like children, seniors, African American community has been hit hard."

The report showed the food insecurity rate among Black residents in the food bank's service area rose from 24% to 29%, compared with one in seven white residents. Hispanic communities are also disproportionately affected, with 20% experiencing food insecurity.

The food bank and its partner pantries provide services to central and southeast Arkansas, where one in four children is considered food insecure. The Federal Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer program will provide needy families that have school-aged children with an additional $120 for groceries through August.

Burton emphasized it is especially important for families who live in rural areas who do not have access to summer feeding programs. He added food banks are successful in reaching more people by partnering with other agencies.

"Mainly food pantries and churches and nonprofits and schools," Burton pointed out. "They are the ones that actually see the folks in need, the families, and cradle them and lift them up."

The food bank will work with The Boys and Girls Club to hold summer feeding programs over the next couple of months.


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