Back To Map

Below is a set of key data indicators related to poverty. For the original sources, click on the data point.

Poverty by demographic

  • Child poverty rate: 29%
  • Senior poverty rate: 13%
  • Women in poverty: 20.4%
  • Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 44%
  • Number of Black children below 200% poverty: 103,000

Economic well-being

  • Poverty rate: 19.7%
  • Extreme poverty rate: 8.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.6%
  • Food insecurity: 21.2%
  • Low-income families that work: 41.8%
  • Minimum Wage: $6.25
  • Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 36.6%
  • Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 18%
  • Number of Black children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: 69,000


  • Teen birth rate per 1,000: 52.5
  • Children living in single parent families: 39%
  • Children in foster care: 3,770
  • Percent of children in immigrant families: 10%
  • Number of grandparents raising grandchildren: 64,552


  • Asset poverty rate: 29%
  • Unbanked households: 12.3%
  • Average college graduate debt: $23,324


  • Individuals with a high school degree: 82.9%
  • Individuals with a four year college degree: 20.6%
  • Teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 12%
  • Percent of college students with debt: 55%
  • High school graduation rate: 75%


  • Total households: 1,121,386
  • Renters: 33%
  • Households paying more than 30% of income on housing: 163,119
  • Homeless people: 4,214
  • Home foreclosure rate:1.69%

Justice System

  • Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 836
  • Total incarcerated (prison and jail): 17,235

Participation in federal programs

  • Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 16,908
  • Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 215,000
  • EITC recipients: 306,000
  • Households receiving federal rental assistance: 55,384
  • Families receiving child care subsidies: 4,400
  • Participants in all Head Start programs: 12,082
  • Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: 521,520
  • Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 89,777
  • Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 90,233

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key Arkansas policies and a link to an organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports

Below is a list of reports about poverty and opportunity in the state. If you have a state report you’d like featured on this page, please email

Tax & Budget Policy

The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Refund Anticipation Loans on Low-Income Families

Angela Duran, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, January 2011

The 2009 Tobacco Tax: Was Children’s Health Care the Big Loser?

Elisabeth Wright Burak, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, December 2010

Arkansas Taxes Hit Poor Twice as Hard as Wealthy

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, November 2009

Obama’s Budget Priorities for Arkansas Children

Candice S. Smith, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, 2009


The 2008 Arkansas Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Michael Rowett, Southern Good Faith Fund, September 2008

Families & Children

The State of Poverty and Opportunity in Alabama

Half in Ten, October 2011

Arkansas Legislative Taskforce on Reducing Poverty and Promoting
Economic Opportunity: Final Report 
November 2010

Census Bureau: Poverty Rises Nationally and in Arkansas in 2009, Further Decline in Health Coverage

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, September 2010

The Impact of Government Programs on Family Finances

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, August 2010

Arkansas Drops to 48th in National Study of Child Well-Being

Tara Manthey, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, July 2010

Arkansas: Improving Public Safety and Containing Corrections CostsThe Pew Center on the States, June 2010

Child Poverty in Arkansas 2010: A Deepening ProblemArkansas Advocates for Children and Families, April 2010

AACF supports Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010

Rich Huddleston, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, March 2010

Arkansas Fact Sheet: 2010 KIDS COUNT DATA BOOK

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010

New Laws Benefit Lower-Income Arkansans

Southern Good Faith Fund, August 2009

Welfare Reform Redux: ARRA’s Potential to Help Arkansas Families in Financial Crisis

Dave Rickard and Rich Huddleston, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, July 2009

Unemployment Insurance and ARRA: An Overdue Win for Arkansas Families

Jim Metzger, Ginny Blankenship and Rich Huddleston, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, June 2009

ARRA: What’s In It for Arkansas Children and Families?

Elisabeth Wright Burak, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, June 2009

Recovery Act Should Include Low-Income Relief

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, May 2009

Juvenile Justice System at a Critical Turning Point

Tara Manthey, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, January 2009

Arkansas Division of Youth Services: Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform Plan 2009–2014

Ron Angel, Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, 2009

Waiting for Helping Hands: An Analysis of the Arkansas Child Welfare Crisis

Diane Robinson, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, 2008


A Stronger Nation through Education: Arkansas
Lumina Foundation, March 2012

Arkansas Students Are Left Behind When Schools Stockpile Poverty MoneyKim Reeve, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, November 2010

ARRA Funding for Education in Arkansas: A Jump Start for Moving From Adequacy to Excellence

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, May 2009


A Safe, Stable Place to Call Home Supports Young Children’s Health in Arkansas

Children's HealthWatch, July 2012

Crossing the Finish Line: Moving Toward Covering All Kids

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, May 2010

Health Reform Summary: Key Elements Affecting Arkansas Children and Families

Elisabeth Wright Burak, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, March 2010

Five Questions Child Advocates Should Ask of Health Reform

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, May 2009

ARRA and Arkansas: Recommendations for Improving the Health of Children and Families

Elisabeth Wright Burak, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families,  May 2009

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 24, 2015: Medicaid heat is put on 4 states

"President Barack Obama's administration is dialing up the pressure on four states that have resisted expanding Medicaid coverage for their low-income residents under the federal health care overhaul."

Times Record, March 25, 2015: Panel Rejects Tax Credits For Low-Income Workers

"A House committee on Tuesday rejected a bill to offer an earned-income tax credit to low-income Arkansans."

Arkansas News, March 24, 2015: Panel nixes bill to offer tax credits to low-income Arkansans

"A House committee on Tuesday rejected a bill to offer an earned-income tax credit to low-income Arkansans. House Bill 1344 by Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, failed in the House Revenue and Tax Committee in a voice vote. Under the bill, titled The Working Families Opportunity Act, about 279,000 Arkansas who qualify for a federal earned-income tax credit also would qualify for a state earned-income tax credit."

KUAR Public Radio, March 23, 2015: Tax Relief For Low-Income Arkansans To Debut In House Committee

"More than $100 million in individual income tax cuts has been handed down by the Arkansas Legislature this year but the lowest paid Arkansans are not among the beneficiaries. However those taking home pay that places them in the bottom 40 percent could find some relief under a plan up for consideration Tuesday."

The Arkansas News, July 23, 2014: Editorial: State needs more forward steps for child well-being

“Two steps forward, one step back — that’s what we thought when we saw the results of the annual Kids Count Data Book that rank Arkansas as the 41st state in child well-being.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, July 21, 2014: Study: Nearly 1 in 3 Arkansas kids live in poverty

“Nearly three out of 10 kids are living in poverty in Arkansas, but the number of children without health insurance has gone down, according to a national study released Tuesday that shows how children fare in each state.”

The Arkansas Business Times, July 21, 2014: Proposal Would Raise Arkansas' Minimum Wage Rate

“Arkansas’ minimum wage of $6.25 an hour, which applies to all employers with four or more employees, is one of only four state minimums that remain below the federal wage of $7.25 hourly. However, employers with annual revenue above $500,000 must pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 17, 2014: (Editorial) Saving private option (Subscription Required)

“I'd said that Hutchinson opposes raising the state's minimum wage. A campaign aide said Hutchinson opposes only the proposed initiated act favored by Mike Ross to take the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour in three years.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 08, 2014: $616,500 to insurer to fix state baby glitch (Subscription Required)

“The private option allows eligible recipients - adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level - to sign up for a private plan on the state's health insurance exchange and to have their premiums paid by Medicaid. Pregnant women are normally not eligible for the private option because they qualify under an older, fee-service program that covers expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth for women with incomes of up to 200 percent of the poverty level.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 25, 2014: Non-Medicaid plan rolls dip by 331 in Arkansas (Subscription Required)

“The Medicaid expansion extended eligibility to adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level: $16,105 for an individual, for instance, or $32,913 for a family of four. According to numbers released by the state Department of Human Services, more than 152,000 Arkansans were enrolled in the Medicaid-funded plans as of May 31. Those who don't qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for federal tax credits to help them buy coverage. The tax credits are available to those with incomes of less than 400 percent of the poverty level: for example, $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 18, 2014: Private option enrollees to chip in under proposal (Subscription Required)

“Enrollees in the private option do not pay premiums now, and those earning less than the poverty level are not required to contribute any money toward the cost of their medical care. Enrollees with incomes of 100 percent to 138 percent of the poverty level are charged copayments - $8 for a doctor's visit or $10 for a visit to a specialist's office, for instance.”

The New York Times, June 08, 2014: In Texarkana, Uninsured and on the Wrong Side of a State Line

"Arkansas accepted the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act. Texas did not. That makes Texarkana perhaps the starkest example of how President Obama’s health care law is altering the economic geography of the country. The poor living in the Arkansas half of town won access to a government benefit worth thousands of dollars annually, yet nothing changed for those on the Texas side of the state line.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 03, 2014: Word awaited on care for 4,798 (Subscription Required)

“As of Monday, Arkansas Insurance Department officials were still awaiting word from a federal agency on what steps will be taken to prevent a gap in coverage for nearly 4,800 Arkansans whose Medicaid coverage ended Sunday.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 30, 2014: State to 4,798: Error will end care coverage (Subscription Require)

“About 4,800 people who were mistakenly enrolled in Arkansas' expanded Medicaid program before their eligibility had been verified have been notified that their coverage will end Saturday, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Thursday.”

The Fresno Bee, April 04, 2014: Ross says he backs Arkansas minimum wage increase

“Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross on Friday said he supports a proposal to gradually raise the Arkansas minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by 2017. The state minimum now is $6.25 per hour, making it one of just four states with a minimum wage lower than the federal level of $7.25 per hour.”

The Southwest Times Record, March 27, 2014: Enrollment below target for insurance marketplace, on track for private option

“With Monday’s enrollment deadline for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace looming, only 33,569 Arkansans have enrolled, a number well below initial projections, state officials said Thursday. But officials said enrollment is right on track for the private option — which has no enrollment deadline — with just under 150,000 Arkansans having applied and been found eligible for the program and about 106,000 having completed enrollment.”

The Boston Globe, March 14, 2014: US Labor secretary focusing on income inequality

“The report listed reducing ‘food insecurity’ as a priority, noting that a study by Feeding America, a national network of food banks, found that 28 percent of Arkansas children in 2011 lived in households that are considered food insecure, meaning household members reported that a lack of money limited what they ate.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 05, 2014: State private-option enrollees older, premiums higher (Subscription Required)

“Enrollees in the state’s private option have been slightly older than expected, resulting in the state paying higher than expected premiums, the state’s Medicaid director said Tuesday.”

The Washington Post, February 11, 2014: Arkansas’s experiment with ‘private option’ for expanding Medicaid may be in jeopardy

“Then last fall, the former teacher’s aide got a letter from the state of Arkansas telling her that because she got food stamps, she qualified for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, which is being expanded under the health-care law to cover those who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or up to $15,900 for an individual.”

The Intelligencer Journal, February 06, 2014: Model Arkansas way of expanding Medicaid at risk

“Arkansas' plan for expanding Medicaid by buying private insurance policies for the poor instead of adding them to the rolls was heralded as a model for convincing more Republican-leaning states to adopt a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.”

The Arkansas Business Journal, January 26, 2014: Private Option Supporters Walk Fine Line

“Supporters of Arkansas' ‘private option’ Medicaid expansion are walking a fine line as they assess the future of the program before this year's legislative session. They don't want to understate the danger it faces of being defunded, but they don't want to declare it dead just yet.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 18, 2014: Most younger than 40 in private-option plans (Subscription Required)

“More than half of the people enrolled in private, Medicaid-funded plans in Arkansas under the so-called private option are under age 40, and 77 percent are younger than 50, according to information released Wednesday by the state Department of Human Services.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 29, 2013: State Medicaid enrollments up by over 68,000 (Subscription Required)

“Enrollment in Arkansas’ expanded Medicaid program rose to more than 68,000 as of Saturday, up from about 67,000 a week earlier, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Thursday.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 20, 2013: Insurers’ plans see rolls rise to 61,374 (Subscription Required)

“Enrollment in private, Medicaid-funded health insurance plans has jumped by 2,171 since the beginning of December, bringing the total number of Arkansans signed up for the plans to 61,374, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Wednesday.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 22, 2013: Coverage will work if we do, senator told (Subscription Required)

“Thompson said the goal of providing optimum health-insurance coverage is what has led the state to assign more than 47,000 food stamp recipients to private health-insurance plans. The state assigned these food-stamp recipients to private health-insurance plans after they indicated they wanted coverage, but failed to choose plans through the state website within a 12-day period, state officials said. So far, the total enrollment in Medicaid-funded private plans is more than 57,000.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 21, 2013: State a quarter there on plans Medicaid pays (Subscription Required)

“An additional 7,831 food stamp recipients who applied for coverage under Arkansas’ expanded Medicaid program were automatically assigned to private, Medicaid-funded plans last week, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Wednesday.”

The Daily Journal, November 21, 2013: More than 25 percent of eligible Arkansans enrolled in private-option plan, DHS reports

“More than a quarter of the 250,000 Arkansas residents eligible under the state's expanded Medicaid program have been enrolled for coverage, according to the state Department of Human Services.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 06, 2013: 53,462 in state now enrolled in expanded Medicaid (Subscription Required)

“Notices went out Tuesday to more than 40,000 food stamp recipients informing them that they have been automatically assigned to a private health-insurance plan under the state’s expanded Medicaid program, the state Department of Human Services announced.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 05, 2013: Assigned-coverage notices going out (Subscription Required)

“The state Department of Human Services plans to notify tens of thousands of food stamp recipients today that they have been assigned to private insurance plans as the state's Medicaid program expands to cover more people.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 30, 2013: Expanded-Medicaid roll grows by just 450 in state (Subscription Required)

“The pace of enrollment in Arkansas' expanded Medicaid program slowed last week, with just 450 applicants completing the process, compared with 3,625 the week before, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Tuesday.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 23, 2013: Medicaid enrollees last week top 3,600 (Subscription Only)

“More than 3,600 people enrolled in Arkansas’ expanded Medicaid program last week, bringing to 14,079 the number of newly eligible adults signed up for coverage that will start Jan. 1, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Tuesday.”

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, October 16, 2013: In food-stamp outreach, 10,454 pick up insurance (Subscription Required)

“The number of food stamp recipients who enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program since Oct. 1 shows ‘that there is a need,’ a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Tuesday.”

The Fort Smith Times Record, October 04, 2013: Homeless Advocates Seek $589,000 For Campus

“Construction of a $2.7 million homeless campus in Fort Smith is at least a year out as advocates seek an additional $589,000 to begin the first phase, which includes a low-demand shelter.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 04, 2013: 344 apply to state’s expanded Medicaid program in 2 days (Subscription Required)

“More than 340 people applied for health insurance through the Arkansas Medicaid program Tuesday and Wednesday, the first two days that applications were accepted under the expanded program, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Thursday.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 02, 2013: Exchange visitors hit first-day snags (Subscription Required)

“The first day of enrollment on health-insurance exchanges across the country got off to a bumpy start Tuesday, as computer glitches prevented many people from accessing an online portal that was supposed to allow individuals to compare plans and sign up for coverage.”

The San Francisco Gate, September 27, 2013: Feds approve Ark.'s private-option Medicaid plan

“Arkansas became the first state on Friday to win federal approval to use Medicaid funding to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents under the federal health care law, clearing the way for a model that several other states are eyeing.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 05, 2013: State tops nation in percentage of hungry families, '12 data find (Subscription Required)

“Arkansas tops the nation in the percentage of families who frequently missed meals because of lack of money or access to food, according to 2012 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released Wednesday, just before Congress is expected to debate the federal supplemental nutrition program for the second time this year.”

The Arkansas News, September 04, 2013: Report: 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 News & Observer, August 22, 2013: Health official looking at Arkansas plan

“Arkansas wants to use Medicaid expansion money under the federal health care law to enroll people in private plans on its health insurance exchange. Instead of enrolling low-income, uninsured people in Medicaid, Arkansas would buy them insurance plans on that state's health insurance exchange, APRN reported.”

The Southwest Times Record, June 29, 2013: (Editorial) Arkansas makes improvements, but not enough

“Gov. Mike Beebe says Arkansas’ climb from 42nd to 40th on the Kids Count ranking of states is a direct result of where the state invests its resources, and that may indeed be true. ‘We’ve emphasized spending in areas that can have the most direct impact for children, education and health care, and we’ve seen improvements as a result,’ Beebe said in an Arkansas News Bureau report in Monday’s edition.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 29, 2013: State doctors to get same Medicaid pay (Subscription Required)

“With Medicaid spending growing at its slowest pace in 25 years, Arkansas Department of Human Services officials have scrapped plans to cut reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals, and they no longer expect the program's trust fund to be exhausted when the state's fiscal year ends June 30.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 02, 2013: State is 4th for insuring children (Subscription Required)

“Arkansas ranked fourth in the country at enrolling eligible children in programs such as ARKids First and Medicaid in 2011, according to an annual report by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. This is despite the fact that 27 percent of Arkansas children live in poverty compared with 20 percent nationally, according to a study by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.”

San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2013: Arkansas legislators take back Medicaid bill

“Arkansas moved closer to approving a plan to expand private insurance coverage using federal dollars Wednesday under a model that other states are watching as an alternative to expanding Medicaid. Meanwhile, lawmakers scrambled to make last-minute changes needed to line up Republican support.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 17, 2013: 281,580 in Arkansas seen eligible Jan. 1 for health-plan credit (Subscription Required)

“In addition to the low-income Arkansans who would gain health-insurance coverage through expansion of the state's Medicaid program, more than 280,000 others will be eligible for subsidies for private insurance beginning Jan. 1, according to a report released Tuesday by a consumer advocacy group.”

Southwest Times-Record, March 28, 2013: Arkansas Legislature: State Chamber Supports Private Health Care Expansion Option

“The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas said Thursday it supports a proposal to provide private insurance coverage to low-income Arkansans.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, March 20, 2013: Ark. panel rejects private school tax credit bill

“A proposal to offer tax breaks for donating to a scholarship fund that would allow low-income Arkansas students to attend private schools failed before a state Senate panel Wednesday, after state education and finance officials raised concerns about the impact the move would have on the budget.”

Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2013: Arkansas health plan for poor to add limited federal costs: report

“A cost analysis released on Monday shows that a state plan to move Medicaid-eligible low-income citizens into a ‘private option’ under upcoming federal healthcare exchanges would result in little additional federal costs.”

The Washington Post, March 9, 2013: Arkansas plan shows that health care law's Medicaid expansion leaves flexibility for states

"Still, the possibility that states can go a third route, rather than accepting or rejecting the Medicaid expansion outright, has thrown an element of uncertainty into the politically charged atmosphere surrounding the 2010 health-care law, which will extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans next year."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 19, 2013: Homelessness rises in Northwest corner (Subscription Required)

“Researchers from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville estimated that 2,429 people were homeless in Benton and Washington counties as of Jan. 31, up 18 percent from a similar count of the homeless population in 2011.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 06, 2013: U.S. gives state a maybe on coverage option for poor (Subscription Required)

“The federal government has agreed to consider a request by Gov. Mike Beebe to allow Arkansans whose income is just above the poverty level to choose private insurance on the state's exchange instead of Medicaid if the state fully expands the $5 billion program by 250,000.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 18, 2013: Some in GOP urge wait for better Medicaid deal (Subscription Required)

“In December, Sebelius' agency said if states choose to participate in the expansion, they must do so for up to 138 percent of the poverty level, or income of about $15,415 for an individual. In Arkansas that means up to 250,000 people would get Medicaid coverage. Many state Republicans said Thursday, on and off the record, that the possibility of a partial expansion - perhaps to 100 percent of the poverty level, covering about 160,000 people - reinforces their wariness about making any deal on Medicaid before President Barack Obama's administration more clearly outlines the boundaries of the debate.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 24, 2012: Public not using donation boxes (Subscription Required)

“In 2008, in an attempt to cut down on the number of people panhandling on the streets of downtown Little Rock, officials with the Little Rock Downtown Partnership and the Southside Main Street Project placed 28 ‘Change for the Better’ donation boxes on well-traveled corners. Four years later, the return has been less than abundant, said Sharon Priest, executive director of the partnership.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 12, 2012: Funds hinge on Medicaid rolls growing (Subscription Required)

“Chancellor Dr. Dan Rahn told a statewide audience of health-care providers in a video conference call that they need to educate themselves on a complex set of issues that are all occurring simultaneously: the ‘short-term’ struggle over the estimated $138 million state Medicaid deficit, an "intermediate" effort by Medicaid and two of the state's largest private insurers to undertake a dramatic overhaul of medical payments, and the health-care industry's "long-term" goal to tackle rising costs by becoming more efficient.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 23, 2012: Millions at stake for state in 'cliff' (Subscription Required)

“Automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to take place in January would result in Arkansas losing $54.9 million in funding for a variety of programs, state officials said this week. Among the possible reductions if Washington doesn't avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ are financial aid for college students, heating assistance for poor Arkansans and child-care subsidies for lower-income families.”

Southwest Times Record, November 19, 2012: ‘Cause-Driven’ Fort Smith Native Forges Career In Public Service

“Johnson, who grew up in Fort Smith and now lives in Little Rock, is the executive director of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission, created in 2003 to increase resources and ensure low-income Arkansans have fair access to the civil courts.”

Southwest Times Record, October 28, 2012: Enrollment Up Some, Free Meals More in Larger Area Districts

“Enrollment at several of the larger area public school districts saw slight gains this year over last year, but they were accompanied by bigger gains in low-income students, according to Arkansas Department of Education and school district data.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 22, 2012: HOPE event offers aid, health care to homeless (Subscription Required)

“An event Tuesday sponsored by Veterans Health Care Systems of the Ozarks, 7Hills, Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville and the United Way of Northwest Arkansas will give homeless veterans and others a shot at resources not always easily accessible. Services include medical, dental and vision exams; legal advice; bags of perishable food; veterans services; Social Security services; flu shots; and haircuts.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 17, 2012: Professor, author to talk at UA on education change, social inequity

“Low-income families need assistance early to ensure children enter school on par with their more affluent peers, said Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children in Little Rock. Programs that help include those that provide good prenatal care for mothers, promote a strong bond between parents and children and ensure that families have access to quality child-care programs. Children from low-income families also need quality programs after school and during the summer, he said.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 22, 2012: 5 health clinics get millions (Subscription Required)

“Five low-income health clinics in Arkansas were awarded grants totaling nearly $11.2 million in May and June - part of $857 million in such Affordable Care Act awards nationwide that health officials say will help serve more patients, cut expensive emergency room visits and create health-care jobs.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 13, 2012: Rule change for TB urged Teachers among groups at no great risk, official says (Subscription Required)

"Those still required to undergo annual TB testing are employees of hospitals and other medical facilities, prisons, homeless shelters and nursing homes. Inmates and people likely to stay in a homeless shelter for at least 14 days also have to be tested. Patil said foreign-born students who attend Arkansas universities also are tested."

The New York Times, July 5, 2012: For Pacific Islanders, Hopes and Troubles in Arkansas

"Almost all of them live in this working-class town in the northwest corner of the state, where Tyson Foods has its headquarters. They arrived here hoping to escape poverty and poor health: their nation ranks third in tuberculosis deaths per capita. Diabetes is rampant. Leprosy still lurks."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 1, 2012: Medicaid's expansion now state decision

"The federal Medicaid expansion would extend eligibility to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line, which would be $15,414 for an individual or $31,808 for a family of four, according to federal poverty rates calculated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 29, 2012: Grant spurs work to aid kids at risk of homelessness (Subscription Required)

"For a homeless child, it's not uncommon to attend three or more schools in a single year. As a result, it's not uncommon for those children to face serious academic problems, making them more likely to be homeless adults."

The Clarion-Ledger, June 16, 2012: Mississippi ranked No. 10 among least peaceful states

"'The state has the highest rate of poverty, the highest rate of children living in single parent households, the lowest average life expectancy, and the highest rate of births among teenagers.' Other states listed among the 'least' peaceful states in the country were South Carolina (9th), Arkansas (8th), Texas (7th), Missouri (6th), Arizona (5th), Florida (4th), Nevada (3rd), Tennessee (2nd) and Louisiana (1st)."

Deseret Morning News, April 28, 2012: Obese, hungry and undernourished: the new face of food insecurity

"But it also serves to highlight complicated links between poverty, nutrition, obesity and overall well-being. Insecurity or hunger? 'Those public service announcements come back to haunt me,' said Mark Nord, the USDA sociologist in charge of food insecurity data."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 25, 2012: Rx for reading; Pediatricians can prescribe books for children through Reach Out and Read Arkansas

"Sara Sanders of North Little Rock has taken her four children to the Little Rock Pediatric Clinic for nearly eight years - in exchange for benefits that go beyond just physical health. Through age 5, each well-child visit to the clinic comes with an added bonus - a new book."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 23, 2012: Women's shelter stymied Site in Hot Springs has permit denied (Subscription Required)

"Terry Lawler, who works with children at the Hot Springs School District who are in transition between permanent residences, said the school district has 120 students in that category. The school doesn't like to use the word homeless because of the stigma it could place on a child, but many of the children are living with another family or in weekly-stay housing."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 10, 2012: Homeless-clinic plan to be reviewed by VA Planned in wrong location, LR mayor says (Subscription Required)

"In a meeting with Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola on Monday, officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to review their plan to establish a center for homeless veterans on Main Street but stopped short of promising to change course, the mayor said."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 30, 2011: Infant day care is hard to find in parts of state; Need high in rural NW Arkansas

"The center participates in the Better Beginnings ratings, a state-run program, and has a rating of one star out of a possible three. There are only two child-care centers with a Better Beginnings rating in Franklin County, according to the state's Child Care and Early Childhood Education Division."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 22, 2011: Cut can leave needy boys, girls clubless Officials seek other funds

"The program is meant to provide low-income families with assistance such as wage supplements, child care, transportation, and education and job training through the state's Transitional Employment Assistance program, the state's welfare program, Workforce Department officials said."

Equal Voice, December 9, 2011: Rural Residents Fight Back to Save Local Post Offices

"But moving online is not an option for the many rural families living in the poorest parts of the country, where Internet service and cell phone reception are spotty or nonexistent, and few have computers."

Equal Voice, October 19, 2011: Return to Sender

"Rural populations tend to be low-income, elderly and disabled, and many small-town residents receive their prescription medications by mail. They worry that if their post office were to close, they would have to drive to the closest town with a post office or pay a neighbor to make the trip."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 28, 2011: Prisons paying rents to clear out inmates (Subscription Required)

"Using money from a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, the state Department of Community Correction is paying the halfway houses $28 per inmate per day for up to 120 days, after which the inmates are expected to pay their own rents at the halfway houses or move out on their own."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 22, 2011: State poverty rate stabilized in 2010 Nationally, indicators worsened (Subscription Required)

"Higher percentages of Arkansans were unemployed, receiving food stamps or living in poverty last year than before the 2007 recession, but census numbers released today show those figures leveled off going into 2010."

The Times Herald, September 1, 2011: U.S. has no excuse for hungry children

"A list of states and the federal enclave compiled by the Con Agra Foods Foundation and reprinted recently in The New York Times reveals that in the District 32.3 percent, or 36,870 boys and girls, face food deprivation. The District is followed closely by Oregon with 29.2 percent, or 252,510 children, and Arizona and Arkansas with 28.8 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively.", August 24, 2011: Arkansas Ranks Almost Last In National Study

"A national report recently ranked Arkansas 47th for child well-being and 49th for child poverty. Mississippi is the only state in the nation that has a higher child poverty rate than Arkansas."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 23, 2011: School-voucher panelists push Arkansas adoption (Subscription Required)

"[Ford's] organization, D.C. Parents for School Choice, was started in 1998 as an information clearinghouse on charter schools and afterschool programs. It became a primary proponent of a taxpayer-funded school-voucher bill in Congress that beginning in 2004 enabled low-income parents to choose private schools."

The Associated Press, Aug 17, 2011: More than a quarter of Ark. kids live in poverty

"A new report shows that more than a quarter of Arkansas' children live in poverty."