Regional food banks in Sikeston, Columbia, St. Louis, and Springfield are splitting $200,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Foundation spokesman Bev Pfeifer-Harms says the food banks will use the money to distribute money through local food pantries in their regions. "This has been a tough year for folks," she says, "The economy is tough for people. businesses are not doing well this year so people have been laid off and are losing their jobs. The weather has been worse than normal. All of those things combined to put a lot of demand on the food pantries in every community in our state."
She says MFH has been hearing of chronic shortages in local food pantries Pfeifer-Harms says people cannot stay healthy if they do not eat properly, leading the foundation to make the donations.
The Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia and the St. Louis Area Food Bank each is receiving $70,000. Thirty-thousand dollar grants are going to the Bootheel Food Bank in Sikeston and to the Ozark Food Harvest in Springfield. The four food banks and their local affiliates provide services in 86 counties.
The Missouri Foundation for Health was created to receive assets from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Missouri in 2000, before the organization converted from nonprofit to for-profit status. The foundation does not operate in the Kansas City area or in northwest Missouri because those areas were not served by the St. Louis-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Missouri.