Closing Missouri's meal gap

Drive to feed kids folderlogoWith the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids campaign now under way, Missouri agriculture is banding together once again to provide food for hungry children and stand in the gap for those who face food insecurity.

According to recent data from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap,” more than 240,000 children in Mis­souri do not know where their next meal will come from. One in five children in our state regularly face hunger, and rural Missouri counties have the highest rates of food insecurity, affecting one out of every three children.

“We continue to see food insecurity grow in rural areas,” said Gary Marshall, Missouri Farmers Care chairman. “Through Drive to Feed Kids, we have the opportunity to raise awareness, while showcasing the tremendous work of farmers and ranchers who leverage sci­ence, technology, their expertise and natural resources to provide food for the world.”

In 2018, farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, FFA members and legislators supplied more than 100,000 meals, donated 18,932 pounds of canned food and packed 2,000 backpack meals for Missouri children. In addition, the drive raised more than $160,000 for Missouri’s six regional food banks to pur­chase child-friendly meals.

“Kids Feeding Kids” is the focus of this year’s campaign, re­flecting the role of youth volunteers such as FFA members who contribute to the cause. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will again work side-by-side during their “Food Insecurity Service Day” to pack more than 100,000 meals for Drive to Feed Kids at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

That day is also Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday. Fairgoers can enter the Mis­souri State Fair for $2 with a minimum do­nation of two canned food items. MFC will present a check from this year’s campaign to Feeding Missouri during the Brothers Osborne/Ashley McBryde concert at the fair on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Companies, farms, individuals and civic groups can participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at ashley@ Individual donations can be directed to or text Drive2 to 44321. All donations will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri’s network food banks that work daily to alleviate childhood hunger.

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit online at

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