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20 percent of Arkansas households struggle with hunger

An average of one out of every five households in Arkansas had difficulty putting food on the table between 2010 and 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s annual report on food insecurity.

The USDA said in the report released Wednesday that 19.7 percent of Arkansas households — the second highest percentage in the nation after Mississippi’s 20. 9 percent — were considered food insecure, meaning that at some time in the course of a year the households had difficulty providing enough food for all their members because of limited resources. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.45 percentage points.

Of those households, 8.1 percent — the highest percentage in the nation — had “very low” food security, meaning that the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times.

Nationwide, 14.7 percent of households were food insecure on average in 2010-2012, with 5.6 percent of the households experiencing very low food security, according to the report. The margin of error is plus or minus o.24 percentage points.

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