Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 14

THE FOOD FIGHT
Co-ops help power
Missouri's battle
against hunger

photo courtesy Missouri Farmers Care

The drive raised $165,000 for Feeding
Missouri and its partner food banks. FFA
students from around the state helped
pack more than 52,000 meals during
s daylight shortens and the temperFood Insecurity Service Day on Aug. 15.
ature drops, the stomach's internal
Volunteers and fairgoers donated about
clock starts counting down to holi9,000 pounds of food at gates, and Misday feasts. But somewhere in Missouri's FFA chapters donated another
souri there are senior citizens, kids and
whole families whose tables will be bare. The Thanksgiving food drive is a famil- 900 pounds of high-quality, fresh produce from their exhibition displays.
"It was the most meaningful and purposeful day I've spent at the fair, and I
iar sight across America. However hunger is a perennial problem. And it seems
everywhere around the Show-Me State there are food banks, farmers and elec- think other people felt that," Ashley says. "It feels good to give resources, but it
feels even better to roll up your sleeves and serve your community."
tric cooperatives trying to change that.
With the cooperative principle "Concern for Community" in mind, Co-Mo
"There's not a season for hunger," says Denise Gibson, director of development and communication for Ozarks Food Harvest. "It's 365 days a year and it Electric Cooperative has made feeding the hungry in its service area - and
beyond - a priority by supporting The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Miscrosses all demographics."
According to Feeding America, about 40 million people - roughly an eighth souri. For two decades, the Co-Mo Cares Board of Directors has made donaof the U.S. population - struggle with hunger. In White River Valley Electric tions to the Buddy Pack program. Member Care Representative Cathy Sinclair
Cooperative's five-county service area of southwest Missouri, the problem is says since 2011 the electric cooperative's employees have jumped on board,
so staggering the co-op created a Power to Turn Hunger Into Hope campaign. too. Whether it's filling a truck bucket with peanut butter or donating money to
White River not only takes donations at local grocery stores but also has raised wear jeans to work, Co-Mo gets creative in its approach.
"In addition to the employees our members are very generous," Cathy says,
more than $16,000 and 3 tons of groceries with the help of employee food
drives, fundraisers and from voluntary payroll deductions. Because food banks adding the cooperative's offices in Tipton and Laurie accept food bank donations year round. "It's something very near and dear to our hearts."
buy products in bulk, those dollars stretched to $160,000 worth of food.
Accountant Jordan Fischer says rural lender CoBank partnered with Co"You feel like it's a drop in the bucket when you look at the need, but you do
Mo on the drive, matching the value of food gathered by the cooperative with
what you can," says White River's marketing coordinator Diana Bradford.
The need is especially great in southwest Missouri's schools. Denise says a monetary donation. To date, more than 1 ton of food and a little more than
Ozarks Food Harvest started a weekend backpack program in 2003 to get kids $3,400 in matching donations have helped fund the food bank's initiatives.
Darren White is a regional coordinator for the Columbia-based food bank,
nutritious meals where and when they need them most. Since that time it has
grown to encompass 60 schools in 16 counties. It's vital to an area where as working with eight of 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri. In 2016,
many as 60 to 90 percent of students rely on free or reduced-cost lunch pro- the food bank shipped out close to 32 million pounds of food at no cost to the
136 partner agencies it supplies. But even that
grams for sustenance and nutrition.
staggering amount of food - 16,000 tons -
"People have stepped up to try and break
hasn't come close to knocking out hunger.
the cycle of poverty for these kids so they can
"It's not getting any better," Darren says,
concentrate on their schoolwork and be more
noting one in six people in the 18,000-squarehealthy human beings," Denise adds.
mile area are food insecure and one in five of
"In rural Missouri when we think about
those are kids. "It's either staying consistent or
hunger people may think it's an inner city issue
even going up in some areas."
and numbers don't prove that out," says Ashley
So while the work may never be finished, no
McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmone quits trying. From the change in a jar at
ers Care. She adds in parts of the state one in
the grocery store to the trucks of food rolling to
every three kids faces food insecurity. "If you
a shelter or senior citizens' centers, they are all
spend much time in a public school, you don't
different solutions working toward one goal -
have to have many statistics to see the need."
engaging the community to address the comFormed in 2010 as an advocacy coalition of
mon problem.
Missouri's agricultural community, Missouri
"People don't realize the need, not only with
Farmers Care works in concert with 45 memkids but generally within those communities,"
bers, including the Association of Missouri
Darren says. "It's something that doesn't go
Electric Cooperatives. This year the group
photo courtesy Diana Bradford, White River Valley Electric Cooperative
away. It's constant."
kicked off several initiatives to address hunger,
including the Drive to Feed Kids and partnerTop: Missouri FFA students packed more than 52,000 meals for the
For more information on finding your local
ing with Missouri FFA. And what better time
Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri during Food Insecurity
food bank or how you can help fight hunger go
or place for Missouri's rural voice to fight back
Service Day, held Aug. 15 at the Missouri State Fair. Above: White
to www.feedingamerica.org.
against hunger than the state fair?
River Valley Electric Cooperative employees gather donations.

by Zach Smith | zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop

A

14

RURAL MISSOURI | NOVEMBER 2017


http://www.feedingamerica.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2017

Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 8
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 9
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 10
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 11
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 12
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 13
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 14
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 15
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 16
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 17
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 18
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 19
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 20
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 21
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 22
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 23
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 24
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 25
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 26
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 27
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 28
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 29
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 30
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 31
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 32
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 33
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 34
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 35
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 36
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 37
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 38
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com