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Governor Asa Hutchinson appoints group to help in the fight against food insecurity



Little Rock, Arkansas – There are still areas in the Capital City without access to fresh produce, and some have even been left without a grocery store.

Two women have been leading the way to fight food insecurity in Arkansas.

Kathy Webb has made it her career to help the hungry, and Kenya Eddings has knowledge of minority and health leadership. Both are the chairs for the Governor’s Working Group on Food Deserts.

They as well as people from across the state, including business leaders, grocers, government officials, and agriculturists have been working to find solutions that will lead to better food access. For the past few months, Webb has researched other states and how they’ve been trying to eliminate food deserts.

“It’s not one size fits all for the solution and it’s not a simple solution where you can go pass a piece of legislation and you’re going to get a grocery store to come into an area,” explained Webb.

Eddings, who is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, has been holding focus groups and also applying for various funding. “Going to meet people where they are… asking food pantries, food banks, and even those who use the food pantries and food banks what do you need to be successful,” said Eddings.

Once the research is done, a list of recommendations will head to the Governor’s desk where those ideas will be spread throughout the state to elected officials and community leaders. They will then let them know what steps they can take to eliminate food insecurity.

“I think success is when we see a small community that gets a new grocery store. Success is when we have a small community that says, you know what, maybe we aren’t big enough to have a grocery store, but we have this vacant building and we can have a community hub where the groceries are delivered there,” explained Webb.

Before the end of the year, the group plans to have recommendations on the Governor’s desk.