More than one in five kids in Missouri are food insecure, and many of their families might not know about programs that can help feed them. “Feeding our Future” is a program administered by Sodexo, a food-supply company for hospitals, schools and military bases.
Spokeswoman Shondra Jenkins says many children who get free and reduced lunches during the school year go without during the summer. She says of the 316,000 Missouri children, only about 15 percent of those eligible for free lunch programs are actually taking advantage of them, many of which are funded by the USDA.
She says getting food to children who need it can be challenging because of that lack of awareness.
Food insecurity is the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life, or access to nutritionally adequate foods; Low food security is a reduction in quality, variety, or desirability of diet but little or no indication of reduced food intake; and Very low food security is when there is a reduction in food intake and disrupted eating patterns due to inadequate resources for food. Finally, hunger is when pain due to lack of food sets in.