Arkansas is now the worst state in the nation for hunger-related problems.
New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service shows more people are going without food in the Natural State than in any other state across America.
Even with hundreds of bags full of food ready to go out in the community, the report shows that 20 percent of people in Arkansas are food insecure, meaning that they don’t know when they’ll get their next meal.
More than 100 elderly and disabled residents waited in line Friday at the River Valley Regional Food Bank to get a bag of food that is supposed to last a month.
“This helps us so very, very much because groceries are expensive now and this helps fill in a lot of them that we don’t have to buy,” said one woman.
These people are just a portion of those who are hungry across the state.
“To look someone in the eyes that is desperate for something that is so basic as a meal is crippling,” said Ken Kupchick with the food bank. “It’s absolutely crippling.”
Food pantries are trying to feed as many as they can across the state by delivering basic foods – like bread, fruits, veggies and meats to help people survive.
“Oh I have such joy, said Charlotte Tidwell, Antioch Consolidated Association for Youth. “And they hug, they love to be hugged, and they hug me and I hug them. It’s just wonderful. It’s wonderful. They’re so grateful.”
The River Valley Food Bank says the best way for you to help those who are hungry is to donate to your local shelters.
“I’ve talked to many a people and a lot of them say they could not do it without these pantries,” said Teddy Clemmons with the food bank. “I mean they really could not. They say they couldn’t make ends meet at all.”