Arkansas ranks low in food and hunger categories

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Arkansas ranks number one in severe hunger, and the worst state for senior citizen hunger. However, the Northeast Arkansas Food Bank is hoping to fix that, by getting more sponsors to help with their Senior Pack program.

"It's a supplemental food assistance program," said NEA Food Bank Development Director Vicki Pillow. "They get a box of food every other week for an entire year."

Sponsors pay a yearly fee to help a senior citizen receive up to 26 boxes within a year.

"A lot of volunteers come to the senior citizens house and drop it off for them, and the senior loves the visit as much as the food itself," said Pillow. "The senior can also come pick it up at the food bank if they'd like to."

Pillow said senior citizens tend to suffer the worse because they don't ask for the help when needed. With a budget to maintain, it's not always easy to keep food on the table.

"This is a population we like to pay attention to because sometimes they'll get into trouble before they ask for help," said Pillow. "With senior citizens being on fixed incomes, gas prices going up, food prices going up, it's just hard for them to make ends meet."

With so many who qualify for their senior pack program, many sit on a waiting list until a sponsor will help.

"If someone is interested in sponsoring a senior citizen in the program you don't have to know who it is, you can just take the next person in line," said Pillow.  "We do have a waiting list of seniors who would like to be on the program."

If you would like to become a sponsor contact 870-932-3663, or visit their website at

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