A new study of heavy demands on Missouri’s food pantries adds to a less-than encouraging picture of hunger in Missouri.
Feeding America, a national organization of 200 food banks, says it’s likely every Missourian knows someone who relies of food pantry partners to feed themselves and their families. The survey says almost 1.2-million Missourians patronize the hundreds of food closets, food kitchens, and similar sources. And Missouri Food Bank Association spokesman Monica Palmer says the need is growing.
“Sixty percent of our partner food programs have reported an increase in the volume of clients…So we get more clients, we need more food, we need more funds…You hear things about the recession being over and the economy improving but for our most vulnerable citizens, that’s not the picture that we have.” she says.
She says the study also shatters some stereotypes about those who get food help. It says 97 percent of those who benefit are not homeless or living in temporary housing. Seventy percent are white. Twenty percent are black. Three percent are Hispanic. Almost half of the households report at least one person had a job last year.
A USDA study last year said only Arkansas had more people facing daily food uncertainty.