Doctor’s Orders: Promoting Healthy Child Development by Increasing Food Security in Arkansas

Parents should be able to afford to meet basic needs, including rent, utilities, medical bills, and
prescriptions, and still have enough each month to pay for adequate food for all family members.
Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many families in Arkansas, especially those with young children.
Even those with higher levels of education and employment report an inability to make ends meet.

When bills, including rent and utilities, drain already tight household budgets, families often cut the only
flexible budget item: food. Both mothers and children in families that lack enough money to provide food for all members to lead active, healthy lives—a condition known as food insecurity—face increased risk of health and development concerns. Food-insecure families are also at increased risk of being unstably housed and having inadequate home energy to keep warm in winter or cool in summer.