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Drive to Feed Kids provides 2.4 million meals to Missourians in need

DriveToFeed group packingThe annual FFA Food Insecurity Service Day was staged Aug. 16 at the Missouri State Fair as part of the 2022 Drive to Feed Kids campaign. Together, FFA members and agricultural leaders packed 152,000 meals for families in need.Missouri Farmers Care Foundation and partners, which include MFA Incorporated, announced that resources were raised to provide 2,425,185 meals to help feed food-insecure children across our state through the 2022 Drive to Feed Kids. The presentation was made Aug. 20 during the Mis­souri State Fair’s closing concert by country artist Justin Moore.

“Drive to Feed Kids addresses the stark reality that 1 in 7 Missouri children regularly face hunger,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation. “Our partners stand in the gap between the productivity of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness providing food, and the disparity of how that abundance ends up on Missourians’ dinner tables.”

Missouri’s agricultural youth programs partnered with the drive to raise meals for communities across the state. Missouri 4-H members donated 264,000 meals during their 4-H Feed­ing Missouri campaign which ran January through April 2022 and packed an additional 3,000 meal boxes for veterans at the Missouri State Fair.

On Aug. 16, hundreds of Missouri FFA Association members and agricultural leaders came together at the Missouri State Fair to pack 152,000 family meals for the Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day.

Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson, along with Missouri elected officials and agricultural leaders, including MFA Incorporated CEO Ernie Verslues, joined the cause on Thursday, Aug. 18. Together, they packed 300 emergency boxes that will provide nourishment to central Missouri families in need.

Fairgoers participated in the events by bringing non-perishable food items and monetary donations on Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday. Through these activities and a generous canned food donation by Woods Supermarket, more than 13,000 pounds of non-perishable food were donated to local pantries.

The Drive to Feed Kids campaign continues to expand through partner­ships. The Hogs for Hunger program allowed swine exhibitors, producers and processors to donate 1,378,241 servings of high-quality protein to all six regional food banks. Missouri pig farmers can still donate to their local food bank through this program. Feeding Missouri reimburses 80 cents per pound for each animal, while Missouri Farmers Care Foundation reimburses producers $1.25 per pound donated to cover processing.

“There are thousands of hard-working Missourians who can’t make ends meet and don’t have enough to feed their families. That’s a reality in Missouri,” said Chris Baker, acting state director of Feeding Missouri. “However, another reality is the heart and commitment of Missouri’s farm­ers to do all they can to help neighbors in need. The impact of the Drive to Feed Kids campaign is substantial.”

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, including how to be involved in 2023, visit www.MOFarmersCare.com/drive.

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