To help meet people’s nutritional needs, 150 organizations operate 195 program sites – providing on-site meals, or delivered meals, or food pantries – in Northwest Arkansas. Yet, access for the estimated 58,000 food insecure residents of Benton and Washington counties remains a problem.
CGR was engaged by the Walmart Foundation to help answer the question of why. We gathered, analyzed and mapped relevant data, interviewed stakeholders and partnered with a collaborative in the region to conduct 24 focus groups with food providers and program recipients.
Food insecurity is a bit distinct from hunger, in that it can refer not only to people lacking adequate food, but also people lacking access at certain times, or whose access to nutritiously adequate food is uncertain. While it affects primarily low-income people, it can hit a broader range of households with job or income insecurity. College students are one group increasingly affected, because of ballooning college costs, inadequate financial aid, and growing enrollment of low-income and first-generation students. Read more »