Food Insecurity In Arizona Might Get Worse
About 50,000 Arizonans on the federal food stamp program would be affected by recent changes being made to the program. And that could have big health consequences, especially for children.
One in four Arizona children faces food insecurity. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that food insecurity can negatively affect the health and development of children.
Ashley St. Thomas of the Association of Arizona Food Banks said one of the root causes of hunger and poor health is poverty.
“The people who visit our food banks are hard-working people. Or, we do see a lot of seniors as well who have worked hard and now need a little help to make ends meet but they’re people working 1 and 2 jobs that maybe are working low wages or can’t get sufficient hours to put food on the table for their kids," St. Thomas said.
St. Thomas also said many residents who receive food assistance and also get Medicaid.
Jerry Brown from St. Mary’s Food Bank said Arizona ranks low compared to the rest of the country.
“When it comes to childhood hunger, and that’s families with young children and children who don’t have families, we’re one of the worst in the nation when it comes to child insecurity. Definitely in the bottom 10," Brown said.
Brown said summer is the most difficult season for food banks in Arizona because of high demand and low supply.