Friday marks World Food Day, which aims to raise awareness about hunger. There are more than 1200 food pantries statewide. Feeding Missouri Spokesperson Monica Palmer said one in five Missourians seek assistance from a food pantry program or shelter.
“The demand is getting greater, but the food banks are working hard to make sure that all the pantries and soup kitchens have enough food to get into the hands of clients,” said Palmer. “With that said, there have been times in this past year that our pantries have had to turn away people.”
Palmer said hunger exists everywhere, regardless of urban or rural settings, but said many people in rural areas suffer from hunger due to lack of money and access to food.
Palmer hopes more people will give food to assistance programs instead of wasting it.
“Food is a limited natural resource. There’s a limit to the amount of food and right now 40% of the food that is manufactured is actually being thrown into landfills,” said Palmer.
USDA says Missouri has the second highest percentage in the nation of households without enough food to eat.