Kids feeding kids is the focus of the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids, which kicked off Wednesday, May 1.
Missouri agriculture is banding together once again to address the alarming reality that one in five Missouri children regularly face hunger. The goal of this collaboration is to raise funds to provide food for hungry Missouri children and stand in the gap for those children who face food insecurity.
According to recent data from Feeding America's "Map the Meal Gap," more than 240,000 children in Missouri do not know where their next meal will come from. Missouri counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural, where one out of every three children face food insecurity.
"We continue to see food insecurity grow in rural areas," said Gary Marshall, Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) chairman. "Through Drive to Feed Kids, we have the opportunity to raise awareness, while showcasing the tremendous work of farmers and ranchers who leverage science, technology, their expertise and natural resources to provide food for the world."
In 2018, farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, FFA members and legislators supplied more than 100,000 meals, donated 18,932 pounds of canned food and packed 2,000 backpack meals for Missouri children facing hunger. In addition, the Drive raised more than $160,000 for Missouri's six regional food banks to purchase child-friendly meals.
The Drive's impact has reached each Missouri county. Last year's partners, including Missouri Farmers Care, Brownfield Ag News, Bayer, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair and Missouri FFA Association, are building on these efforts to provide more meals, raise funds and continue shining a light on modern agriculture. This year's goals include packing 100,000 meals, in addition to raising funds to equip food banks to meet the needs of children in their communities.
The 2019 Drive culminates at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia with the following events:
Tuesday, Aug. 13 — For Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday, fairgoers can enter the Missouri State Fair for $2 with a minimum donation of two canned food items.
Tuesday, Aug. 13 — Drive to Feed Kids packing event and Missouri FFA's Food Insecurity Service Day when hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will work side by side to package over 100,000 meals.
Saturday, Aug. 17 — Check presentation to Feeding Missouri during the Brothers Osborne/Ashley McBryde concert at the Fair.
Missouri Farmers Care encourages companies, farms, individuals and civic groups to participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at email@example.com. Individual donations can be directed to http://mofarmerscare.com/drive or text Drive2 to 44321 to donate today. All donations will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri's network food banks who work daily to alleviate childhood hunger.
To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit www.mofarmerscare.com.
Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri's farming and agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The Drive to Feed Kids is managed by the Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity.