Gov. Jay Nixon today announced almost $25 million in assistance to Missouri food banks, food pantries, and programs that provide support to low-income children and seniors.
"Children, families and seniors will benefit from this timely funding as Missourians continue to recover from the economic downturn," Gov. Nixon said. "Many Missouri food banks and food pantries saw their shelves stripped bare as more working families struggled and donations dwindled. This will help children and working families that still need assistance."
The $24,696,922 in federal assistance comes from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
The Missouri Association of Food Banks, a network of six food banks that provide hunger relief in every county in the state and the city of St. Louis, will use approximately half the funds to serve more than 1,700 hunger relief agencies and food pantries statewide.
The Missouri Association of Food Banks members are:
- Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri in Columbia
- Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City
- Southeast Missouri Food Bank in Cape Girardeau
- St. Louis Area Food Bank
- Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield
- Second Harvest Community Food Bank in St. Joseph
The food banks will further leverage the award by increasing participation in Missouri's Share the Harvest program, which provides access to venison donated by Missouri hunters and processors. Gov. Nixon has made additional tools available to help expand the Share the Harvest program in the future by increasing the number of participating processors.
"This is an excellent way to make these dollars stretch even further and help more folks in need," said Gov. Nixon. "Last year during deer season, Missouri hunters and meat processors stepped up to the plate to assist their fellow Missourians. This will help ensure even more of their neighbors benefit from their generosity."
The remaining portion of the grant funds will be used to provide support to low-income families through the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
The Missouri Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Senior Services are working with community partners to provide additional services to 40 summer food program sponsors. The sponsors provide nutritious meals at more than 300 locations across Missouri. About $950,000 of the award will be used to increase the number of children getting nutritious meals by providing transportation to and from food program sites. Providing nutritious meals for children in low-income families is especially important during the summer, when most schools are not in session.