Produce Promise provides better nutrition for Missouri’s food insecure
Columbia, Mo. – Feeding Missouri is launching a new program aimed at providing better nutrition to low-income Missourians. Produce Promise will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for hungry Missourians through the six food banks and 1,500 agencies serving Missouri’s most vulnerable families.
“Food banks have a year-round need for healthy produce,” said Scott Baker, state director for Feeding Missouri. “This new program will help fill that void by increasing the supply available to food pantries and kitchens across the state. This will also enable Missourians to partner with us in a way that provides a direct benefit to those who need it most.”
Feeding Missouri has established a goal of acquiring and distributing at least $150,000 worth of produce each of the next three years. 100% of funds raised for Produce Promise will be used for this purpose. Already in 2016 the program has distributed over 250,000 lbs. of produce in the state.
Food insecurity continues to be a problem in Missouri. A recent study released by the US Department of Agriculture ranked Missouri seventh in the nation for low food security and second for very low food security.
Food insecurity directly translates into poor nutrition, and research has shown that members of food insecure homes are likely to be subsisting on diets low in vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, grains and meat.
Former Missouri Director of Agriculture Peter Hofherr will be a co-chair of Produce Promise. “Low-income Missourians are not getting the nutrients they need for a healthy and active life,” Hofherr said. “This nutrient deficiency is costing us all in poor educational outcomes, increased hospitalizations, poorer overall health and greater risks for chronic conditions and mental health problems.”
About Feeding Missouri
Feeding Missouri is a coalition of the six Missouri Food Banks working to provide hunger relief to every county (and St. Louis City) in the state. Collectively, the food banks distribute over 120 million pounds of food each year through a network of more than 1,500 community feeding programs.