In the June 2023 issue of the Strengthening the Grid newsletter, discover how the Horatio School District and public libraries in Sevier and Little River counties are joining forces to provide free summer meals for children in southwest Arkansas. We also celebrate the remarkable achievements of our 40 Under 40 honorees.

Stay plugged in: See how Arkansas stacks up when it comes to child well-being and explore a database by Arkansas Children’s that connects families across the state with affordable services.

View in Constant Contact.

Horatio School District, public libraries partnering to provide free summer meals to children in southwest Arkansas

A few years ago, residents in Sevier County set priorities that would help children in their community thrive. Strengthening resources for and improving access to healthy food became a priority as a result of a community-led research effort.

A grant from No Kid Hungry has increased the community’s capacity for purchasing, preparing, and serving nutritious meals to residents under age 18 during the summer. As part of “Seamless Summer,” Horatio School District and public libraries in Horatio, Gillham, Lockesburg, and Winthrop will serve as non-congregate sites for free summer meals for children and teens, regardless of the school district they attend.

Unlike congregate meal service, where meals must be consumed at the site location, non-congregate sites offer meals to-go. This makes it ideal for rural communities that don’t have access to a congregate meal site. Get the details about Seamless Summer in our blog.

Congratulations to E8’s 40 Under 40 honorees!

Earlier this month, we celebrated our own Adena White and our partner Jamie Rayford’s inclusion in Arkansas Business’s 2023 40 Under 40. Adena is our communications director, and Jamie leads the E8 steering committee in Independence County. Join us in congratulating them on this distinguished honor!

Read Adena’s profile in Arkansas Business.

Read Jamie’s profile in Arkansas Business.


2023 KIDS COUNT® Data Book: Arkansas ranks 43rd in child well-being

According to a national report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Arkansas ranks among the bottom 10 states in overall child well-being. The 34th edition of the KIDS COUNT® Data Book bases state rankings on 16 key indicators of child well-being grouped into four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. It also describes how the country’s lack of affordable and accessible child care negatively affects children, families, and U.S. businesses. Read the state data profile for Arkansas at this link.


Arkansas Children’s Resource Connect helps families find free and reduced-cost services

Arkansas Children’s Resource Connect, powered by findhelp, provides a convenient platform for Arkansas parents and families to search for a wide range of free or reduced-cost services in their area. Local programs to help with medical care, food, job training and more are included in the curated database at

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