No Arkansan should ever go to bed hungry.

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Share Our Strength’s Lucy Melcher on End of Child Nutrition Bill


By Christy Felling
Director of Strategic Communications
December 7, 2016


Melcher: “Congress missed the opportunity to end summer hunger for millions of kids in need.”

12/07/16, Washington, D.C. – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced yesterday that efforts to pass the reauthorization of child nutrition programs in the 114th Congress have come to an end. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Lucy Melcher.

“Congress will soon adjourn for the year without passing Child Nutrition Reauthorization. This was a huge missed opportunity that will have a negative impact on hungry children across the nation.

Summer is the hungriest time of year for millions of children across the United States. The national summer meals program has not been fully updated in its 41 year history, and its one-size-fits-all structure struggles to reach a majority of low-income kids who need help getting nutrition when schools are out of session – especially those living in rural communities. And a summer meals program that doesn’t reach kids in need exacerbates the struggles faced by so many children growing up in poverty.

This year, Congress had the opportunity to solve this problem. The Senate crafted efficient, bipartisan legislation that would have improved the summer meals program, strengthened and protected WIC, and enhanced the Child and Adult Care Food Program. It would have effectively made a difference in the lives of millions of kids in need.

With the failure to pass this legislation, Congress not only missed its chance to make a difference but also put these programs in jeopardy moving forward.”



Christy Felling at 202.320.4483 or

SNAP Works for Arkansas Children


By Tomiko Townley,
Older Adult & SNAP Outreach Manager
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Arkansas families put food on the table, but we know now that it accomplishes much more than that.

Research increasingly shows that SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, can ward against the long-term effects on children of experiencing poverty, abuse or neglect, parental substance abuse or mental illness, and exposure to violence — events that can take a toll on their well-being as adults.  As a new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds, SNAP helps form a strong foundation of health and well-being for low-income children by lifting millions of families out of poverty, improving food security, and helping improve health and academic achievement with long-lasting consequences.  It’s doing that all across Arkansas.

SNAP is improving our children’s futures.

SNAP delivers more nutrition assistance to low-income children than any other anti-hunger program.  In 2016, SNAP will help about 20 million children each month — about one in four U.S. children — while providing about $30 billion in nutrition benefits for children over the course of the year.  In Arkansas 46% of SNAP recipients are under the age of 18, or 1 in every 3 kids.

SNAP is helping to give thousands of Arkansas children the foundation they need to succeed.  Efforts to reform or enhance it should build on its effectiveness in protecting the well-being of our children — and those nationwide — and preserve the essential program features that contribute to that success.

Arkansas state level monthly SNAP participation data

Did you know?

In 2014, our six Feeding  America  food bank members along with Project Hope distributed 44,032,106 pounds of food to programs and agencies that directly feed Arkansans in need. This is the equivalent of 36,693,421 meals.

Did you know?

More than 1 in 4 Arkansas kids do not get enough to eat.

Did you know?

Text FOOD to 877 877 to find free summer meals sites for kids

Did you know?

Arkansas ranks #1 in senior hunger.

Did you know?

Many elderly Arkansans must choose between buying food or medication.

Did you know?

Almost 500,000 Arkansas residents (1 in 6) receive federal food assistance.

Did you know?

Poverty is the main cause of hunger.

Did you know?

More than 40% of Arkansas people on SNAP are in working families.


The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, through our member food banks, hunger relief agencies, volunteers and corporate partners, is committed to providing programs, food resources, education and advocacy to reduce hunger in Arkansas. Your interest and generosity will help us succeed.

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Find out about upcoming Alliance fundraising events as well as gleaning opportunities, Cooking Matters classes and grocery tours as well as other special events.

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