In this blog, we will explore another reason why our neighbors in Missouri may have to make a choice between food and everyday expenses.

Transportation is a necessity for many of our day-to-day activities. Going to and from work, transporting children to school, running errands for groceries and supplies for our households and going to medical appointments. Transportation is a difficult and often underreported challenge to low and moderate-income workers trying to find jobs and manage daily life.  In a recent study, Food Assistance and Hunger in the Heartland: State Report for Missouri, the MU Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security found that 33% of Missouri households seeking food assistance, had to choose between paying for food or transportation.

Hunger Study finds 33% of Missourians had to choose between paying for food or transportation.Most of us would define reliable transportation as owning your own vehicle. The cost of gas can be a significant burden for people. It’s even more so for those living in rural communities where job opportunities may be limited, and they are faced with driving longer distances. Purchasing food, paying utility bills and more competes for the same limited resources of low to moderate-income households. And then can you imagine what happens if/when there is an unexpected expense like a car repair or medical need?

According to a recent article by SHRM, surging gas prices in the US are making it difficult for low- and moderate-income workers to afford basic expenses, including driving to work. The average price per gallon for regular gasoline in Missouri is currently at $3.54.

Hopefully you’ve never been faced with making these choices, but the reality is that many of us could find ourselves in a tough situation with unexpected job loss, a medical diagnosis, caring for an aging parent or disabled/sick spouse overnight.

The six Feeding America food banks in Missouri are an important resource in our communities by providing free or low-cost food to assist families in need. You can help them continue to make a difference where you live through donations and volunteering.