The Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS has launched a community of practice focused on addressing food insecurity in northwest Arkansas. By sharing skills and experiences, the community of practice is a group of organizations and individuals who work together to cultivate new strategies to address recurring problems related to food insecurity in northwest Arkansas.
The Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice is guided by a diverse advisory board of individuals who are currently experiencing food insecurity or have experienced food insecurity in the recent past.
What Is a Community of Practice?
A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion about a topic, and who come together to learn from each other and improve skills.
Effective communities of practice create lasting, positive change that would not be possible without the wisdom of the whole group. They focus on collaboration to find solutions to challenging community problems.
Communities of practice are a way for people to connect, share knowledge and collaborate. Regular interaction and relationship building in a safe and supportive environment are an important part of a community of practice.
Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice Goals
The Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice will use planning, learning and evaluation to achieve a shared purpose aimed at four key goals:
- Increasing SNAP/WIC Access
- Improving equitable and inclusive healthy food access and availability
- Evolving food recovery and distribution models
- Increasing the ability of organizations to consistently understand the system in which they operate, and to respond to rapidly changing contexts of food insecurity as a coordinated body.
Food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to food that is safe, adequate, culturally appropriate and nutritious. It can be a temporary situation for a household, or it can last a long time.
Food Insecurity Data
13.1 percent of households food insecure in the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank service area: Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties (2019).Source: Feeding America
10.5 percent of households food insecure in the United States (2020).Source: Feeding America
66 percent of SNAP-eligible Arkansans participated in SNAP in 2018 (82% nationally).Source: USDA
61 percent of SNAP-eligible Arkansans in households where someone earned income from a job participated in SNAP in 2018 (nationally 74%).Source: USDA
25 percent of SNAP-eligible Arkansans 60 or older participated in SNAP in 2018 (42% nationally).Source: USDA
What is this Community of Practice?
Learn more about the Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice and get to know the key playersCommunity of Practice
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Learn about the social determinants of food insecurityDiversity, Equity & Inclusion
Food Recovery & Redistribution
Learn about the food distribution system and how it impacts emergency food servicesFood Recovery & Redistribution
Healthy Food Access
Learn about ways to increase access to nutritionally and culturally appropriate foodsHealthy Food Access
Community Health and Research Newsletter
For updates about the Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice, sign up for the Community Health and Research newsletter.
By working together, the Northwest Arkansas Food Insecurity Community of Practice will create a better state of health for all.
The Walmart Foundation provided a grant to the UAMS Foundation Fund to establish the community of practice, which will place a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion and data-driven decision-making and evaluation.