A federal study estimates Thanksgiving dinner will be an uncertain thing for 366,000 Missouri households.
The federal agriculture department says only six states have higher food insecurity rates than Missouri, meaning about one in nine Missourians have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods. Missouri has six food banks that try to help those 366,000 households.
The state director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, Scott Baker, says hunger is not somebody else’s problem.
“The biggest thing we have to cut through is helping people understand that it’s not ‘those folks over there,'” he says, “The problem is right here in our own backyard.”
Baker says food banks distributed 84,000,000 pounds of food in Missouri last year. He expects that number to increase substantially this year.
The agriculture department says Missouri has shown the nation’s third-highest growth in very low food security in the last fifteen years. Baker says Missouri has a long ways to go to solve the challenge of hunger.