The Arkansas Food Bank supplies food to pantries in 33 counties, feeding more than 170,000 people, but even the food bank was surprised by the latest report from the USDA. It finds than more than eight percent of Arkansans are in the worst category of food insecurity. That's more than any other state in the country.
"That's not just the folks who are stretching a few dollars, who are thinking, am I going to have something to deal with next week or tomorrow. These are the folks who are going to bed every night very hungry," said food bank CEO Rhonda Sanders.
Last week, a study found that senior citizens are among the most vulnerable populations in the state in terms of hunger. The food bank also conducted interviews finding that seniors who take care of grandchildren, are even more likely to struggle with food security.
This is hunger action month, and throughout September, the food bank plans to hold food drives and awareness events. Thursday night is the 'Go Orange' event featuring local restaurants. Folks will meet at Murray Park Pavilion beginning at 6 p.m. Then at eight, folks will move to the Little Rock Big Dam Bridge entrance for a walk and to watch as orange lights light up the river.