The latest Feeding America study says that more than 1 million Missourians are food insecure. That includes more than 22 percent of Missouri’s children.
Food banks throughout Missouri offer a backpack program, that sends backpacks of food home with children in need to make sure they get lunch on the weekends.
Second Harvest Community Food Bank serves northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Operations Director Tamara Grubb says the summer is when those children have a hard time accessing healthy food.
“Kids should be worried about going to the pool or riding their bikes with their friends or things like that, but for so many children summertime isn’t a time that they enjoy because they don’t have access to food. Or, they’re at best case, eating one meal a day and just trying to get by.”
Second Harvest is offering an option for those children, called the No Hunger summer program.
“For kiddos that come and share lunch with us it’s a great time for them. We have activities at the site so that they can interact with their peers there while they’re having lunch. It’s a safe, fun place for them to come and enjoy lunch.
Grubb says Second Harvest is gearing up for the fall and the start of school. She says those who want to help support the food bank have several options, such as volunteering or donating money. Another option that is found online is the virtual food drive.
“You go online and it’s just like you’re online shopping for groceries. We have items available that you can put in your shopping cart and then essentially make a donation to the food bank. So, instead of having to actually go out to the grocery store yourself, you can just purchase those items through our virtual food drive and then we utilize those funds to go and purchase food.”