Hunger appears to be on the rise in Missouri.
Missouri food banks are experiencing dramatically increased need and are asking Missourians to help restock their shelves. The Missouri Food Bank Association, representing the state’s six large food banks, reports increased demand this year of between 20% and 44%. Association spokesman Scott Baker says some surveys ranked Missouri 5th among the states in hunger prior to 2009.
“What we’re seeing in 2009 is this increase of anywhere from 20-to-44%,” Baker says. “So, on top of the dire numbers that we’ve seen so far, we’ve seen a significant increase in demand this year.”
A Food and Research Action Center survey found that six percent of our population reported often going hungry, ranking Missouri 6th among the states in citizens struggling to afford enough to eat. Baker says many Missourians find that hard to believe, since Missouri ranks as one of the top farm states.
Baker says the food banks fear high unemployment and a lingering recession will only make matters worse. The association asks that Missourians respond.
“Understanding and acknowledging the serious problem that Missourians have and then finding any way possible you can to help out those who are on the front lines trying to feed Missourians,” according to Baker.
Baker says it appears hunger has no geographic boundary, affecting rural and urban Missouri alike.
Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)