Report: Missouri Food-Pantry Clients Face Hard Choices
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
A new report finds many Missourians still struggle with food insecurity, and at much higher levels than before the pandemic.
Food pantries are seeing demand at 50% over what it was pre-COVID, and 70% of food-pantry clients surveyed by the University of Missouri said they often don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Kim Buckman, communications and advocacy manager for Feeding Missouri, the group that commissioned the survey, pointed out that with inflation, just over half of respondents said they get more than half of all the food they consume from food pantries.
"Food insecurity is something that we never want anyone to have to go through," she said, "to try and figure out where their next meal is coming from, or worried about watering down food, or skipping meals or trading food for medicine or vice versa."
Nearly 40% of respondents said they'd had to choose between food and medicine or medical care; more than 45% said they'd chosen between food and paying utility bills; and nearly 35% between food and housing. While more than 70% of the households surveyed were eligible for SNAP - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Buckman said, just over 40% were enrolled.
Buckman noted that the survey also covered ties between health issues and food insecurity. Sixty percent of respondents said someone in their household has high blood pressure, and 41% included someone with diabetes.
"We know that there's lots of research that ties food insecurity together with health issues," she said, "but we were actually able to kind of pinpoint the health issues - not only statewide, but also in the region - so we can have a better idea of what kind of education we could possibly provide at pantries."
Buckman said the high cost of gas and groceries is putting additional strain on many families.
"Even our food banks are seeing an increase - like in some categories, two to three times what they would have to spend on food, to get the food to distribute to people," she said, "so I can only imagine what that's doing to families."
get more stories like this via email
Conservation groups along several states on the East coast stretching from North Carolina to northeast Florida are working through a plan to conserve …
Children in Missouri are facing unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression - that's according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book, released today by …
Over the weekend, Nevada's Lehman Caves celebrated its 100th anniversary as a national monument. Supporters behind a proposal to add another monument …
By 2030, Minnesota wants 20% of all light-duty vehicles on its roads to be electric. But a lot of charging stations are needed to help achieve that …
Health and Wellness
In about a month, the Pennsylvania General Assembly revisits a controversial proposal with five separate amendments to the state Constitution…
West Virginia has received federal Infrastructure Bill funding to complete the Corridor H Highway, a four-lane route beginning in Tucker County and …
Despite numerous challenges, eastern Kentucky schools and advocacy groups are working to make the upcoming school year as normal as possible and get …
Children's advocacy groups are sounding the alarm about the well-being of Ohio's kids. The 2022 Kids Count Data Book released today highlights some …