OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma has joined the list of states that rank in the top 10 as both the hungriest and poorest in the country.
New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia were on both lists in 2017. Now, for 2018, Oklahoma has joined their ranks, according to data analysis by the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
These are not the type of top-10 lists Gov. Kevin Stitt is seeking when he says he want to make Oklahoma a top-10 state.
“There is much welcome news in the latest government data, but we cannot ignore the fact that hunger and poverty persist in our country,” said Diane Randall, FCNL executive secretary. “These decreases are important and they reaffirm the vital role federal anti-poverty programs play in ensuring low-income Americans can obtain the benefits that help meet our basic human needs.”
The government data reflect the important role assistance programs like refundable tax credits – including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit – and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, play in preventing people from falling into poverty and ensuring that they have enough food, according to FCN.
“For millions of American families, SNAP is the difference between having enough food or not,” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL legislative director for domestic policy. “SNAP must be protected from harmful changes proposed by the administration that would cause deep benefit cuts or force families off the program altogether.”
As a Quaker organization, FCNL believes each person has the right to access basic necessities in a safe and sustainable environment. FCNL seeks to eliminate poverty at home and abroad through economic policies that expand opportunities for all.