2016 Map the Meal Gap Released

Post-Recession Numbers Show No Significant Change for Hunger Problem in Arkansas

Map the Meal Gap 2016 study indicates 25.8% of children in Arkansas Foodbank service area struggle with hunger.

LITTLE ROCK (April 28, 2016) –  Arkansas Foodbank announced the release of the annual Map the Meal Gap study, which details the startling rate of food insecurity experienced by community members in the Arkansas Foodbank 33-county service area. Map the Meal Gap 2016 results reveal that food insecurity affects the most vulnerable populations in central and southern Arkansas, including 19.9 percent of the population – 86,900 children.

Using county data from the five-year period of 2010 to 2014, Map the Meal Gap 2016 is the first report with post-Great Recession county food-insecurity estimates. Prior to Map the Meal Gap 2016, the county findings in each report were based on data from some point during the 18 months of the Great Recession, which officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. While the national rate has decreased since 2011, the prevalence of food insecurity across counties remains historically high since 2008, and has not yet returned to pre-Great Recession levels.


Other key findings:

  • Overall food insecurity rate in Arkansas is 19.1% which is 2nd worst in the country (567,250 people; 286,220 people in AFB service area)
  • Overall child food insecurity rate in Arkansas is 26.3% which is 5th worst in the country (185,660 children)
  • Pulaski County food insecurity rate is 21.1% (82,220 people)
  • Pulaski County child food insecurity rate is 23.4% (21,700 children)
  • In Foodbank service area, an estimated 33 percent of individuals in food-insecure households have incomes above 185 percent of the poverty line, making them likely ineligible for most federal nutrition assistance programs
  • It would take an estimated $50,529,900 each year for food-insecure individuals in our service area to buy just enough food to meet the needs of their households

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.

Join the conversation about Map the Meal Gap 2016 on Twitter using #MealGap.