PHOENIX — Arizona is in the higher reaches of states with hunger concerns, a report said Wednesday.
A report from the Bread for the World Institute ranked Arizona the 16th hungriest state in the country.
One in every eight households in Arizona struggles to put food on the table. Additionally, Bread for the World Institute director Asma Lateef said one in five women in Arizona are food insecure.
“The fact that women are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty means that the work that they’re doing [and] the jobs that they’re holding aren’t paying enough,” she said. “Raising the minimum wage would reduce the poverty rate by half, just because of the impact on female-headed households.”
Lateef said children living in some female-led households are not getting enough nutritious food and do not have access to the same benefits. She said that can affect a child’s long-term development.
“Even short bouts of hunger and malnutrition can have an impact on your brain development and your physical health and growth,” she said.
Lateef added that poverty also disproportionately affects African-Americans and Hispanics. She said in Arizona, those two groups are three times more likely to live in poverty than the average resident.