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A Community of Food: MU to Foster Food Pantry Capacity, Education in Rural Missouri

February 13, 2013

 In the economic downturn many Missouri families face food insecurity, described as the lack of money or resources to obtain nutritious foods. In an effort to assist those affected MU, with the help of a $500,000 grant, will work to build partnerships with food pantries in the northeast and central parts of the state. The program hopes to develop ideas and activities that can be shared between pantries statewide. This research supports the Food for the Future initiative.

Story by CAFNRnews

Missouri is ranked seventh in the nation for food insecurity, which is the lack of money or resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet, and has the fifth highest rate of child food insecurity in the country. Now, through a new grant, the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security (ICFS) in the College of AgricultureFood and Natural Resources (CAFNR), and the Health Communication Research Center (HCRC) housed in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, will work to increase the availability of healthy foods and nutrition education in food pantries in Missouri.

The Missouri Foundation for Health has awarded MU a 5-year grant of nearly $500,000 to research and assist eight food pantries in northeast and central Missouri. The ICFS and HCRC will partner with food pantries to develop ideas and activities that can then be replicated by other pantries around the state.

Another goal of the grant is to provide gardening resources such as seeds and educational materials to help people expand their gardens or start new gardens. McKelvey says that the project will also partner with groups to provide food preparation demonstrations of less common, healthy foods. More…