Tag Archives: Hunger

Summer Field Research Begins

The start of summer 2013 marks the third year in which Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security faculty and staff have gone to the field to hear the voices of people using food pantries in central and northeast Missouri. This large research project will gather data from approximately 1200 food pantry clients in 32 counties through in-depth personal interviews. The data will be used to look at a variety of challenges faced by households. The ultimate goals are to help people lead healthy and productive lives and give policy makers, agency professionals, and service providers information to develop and deliver solutions to deal with hunger and food insecurity.

More information about the research can be found on the Missouri Food Pantry Client Research page of our website.

Can $4 a day provide a nutritious diet?

That is the question posed by the Health Communication Research Center, a partner of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, as their staff embarked on the Food Stamp Challenge in March. Limiting food expenditures to $28 dollars per week (the average SNAP benefit for a person in Missouri), they set out to learn about the challenges of eating healthy on a food stamp budget and shared their experiences on the their blog. The challenge coincides with National Nutrition Month and the release of the documentary, A Place at the Table.

The Health Communication Research Center at the University of Missouri School of Journalism uses evidence-based communication tools to help strengthen public health for stronger Missouri communities. The center works with a wide range of clients and may be contacted by following this link.

Hidden Hunger at Mizzou

hidden hunger event logo university of missouri

Hunger on college campuses is often overlooked, but with increasing costs for tuition and housing, students often find themselves pinched. Students at the University of Missouri recently organized an event to bring the issue to light. Co-hosted by the Women’s Center, Tiger Pantry (MU’s campus-based food pantry), and the Environmental Leadership Office, Hidden Hunger included a panel of MU students who shared their personal stories about dealing with food insecurity. Ashley Vancil, a graduate student with the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, moderated the panel. More information about the forum can be found at the Maneater and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The City that Ended Hunger

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - By Benjamin Thompson (Flickr: Belo Horizonte, Brazil) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A Yes magazine article by Frances Moore Lappé tells the story of how Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, tackled the issue of hunger. Using a combination of policy and market measures, along with citizen engagement, the city reached nearly 40 percent of it’s 2.5 million citizens through various hunger relief and nutrition efforts and reduced infant mortality by half over a 10 year period. In particular, the city worked to link local farmers with consumers through the establishment of farmers’ markets, used pricing schemes to make certain fruits and vegetables more affordable, and established “People’s Restaurants” (Restaurante Poplular) to serve inexpensive, wholesome meals. Other initiatives focused on community and school gardens and nutrition education. These efforts stemmed from a philosophy that access to good food is a human right.

Read more about this creative and bold approach.

Food Stamps and the 2012 Election

Food Stamp Image

Marketplace Wealth and Poverty series takes a look at the politics of food stamps (i.e. the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). The reports highlight perceptions about the program and the way in which some politicians are framing the debate about hunger and poverty in America. The series features two reports on food stamps – Binders, Big Bird — and food stamps? and Food stamps and the politics of poverty, both by Shereen Marisol Meraji.

World Food Day 2012

World Food Day 2012 Banner

October 16 was World Food Day, sponsored by a host of government agencies and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about hunger and malnutrition around the world. According to a recent report jointly published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP), approximately 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010 through 2012. The report notes that while the number of hungry people declined between 1990 and 2007, efforts to reduce hunger have slowed since 2007.

The theme for World Food Day 2012 is “Agriculture Cooperatives – Key to Feeding the World,” to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and farmers’ incomes. This year’s World Food Prize went to Dr. Daniel Hillel, known for his work to maximize efficient water use in agriculture, increase crop yields, and minimize environmental degradation.

Learn more about activities and events planned in the U.S.


Power Up Your Pantry Link
December 2017
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security
Bill McKelvey

The Garden Starter Link
May 2017
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, University of Missouri
Bill McKelvey

Healthy Food Access in Missouri Food Pantries Through Evidence-Based Intervention
February 2017
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension
Darren Chapman

Exploring Long-term Food Pantry Use: Differences Between Persistent and Prolonged Typologies of Use
June 2016
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Michelle Kaiser and Anne Cafer

An Analysis of Differences in Predictors of Food Affordability Between Rural and Urban Counties
November 2015
Journal of Poverty
Anne Cafer and Michelle Kaiser

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Food Insecurity PDF
March 2015
Social Sciences Review
Colleen Heflin, Irma Arteaga, and Sara Gable

Food Acquisition Strategies, Food Security, and Health Status Among Families with Children Using Food Pantries PDF
January 2015
Families in Society: the Journal of Contemporary Social Services
Michelle Kaiser and Joan Hermsen

Healthy Shelves: Promoting and enhancing good nutrition in food pantries Link
December 2014
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, University of Missouri
Bill McKelvey

Participation in the National School Lunch Program and Food Security: An analysis of transitions into kindergarten PDF
September 2014
Children and Youth Services Review
Irma Arteaga and Colleen Heflin

Coping with Hunger in 2013: Food Pantry Clients and Households in the Service Region of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri PDF
December 2013
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, University of Missouri
Anne Cafer, Matt Foulkes, Colleen Heflin, Joan Hermsen, Nikki Raedeke, and Sandy Rikoon
Also see Coping with Hunger, 2010 PDF and Coping with Hunger, 2005 PDF

Missouri Hunger Atlas 2016 Link
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, University of Missouri
Anne Cafer, Darren Chapman, Kathlee Freeman, and Sandy Rikoon
Also see Missouri Hunger Atlas 2013 PDFMissouri Hunger Atlas 2010 PDF, Kansas City Hunger Atlas 2010 PDF, St. Louis Hunger Atlas 2010 PDF, and Missouri Hunger Atlas 2005 PDF

Regional Profile of Missouri Food Pantry Clients and Households PDF
January 2013
The Institute of Public Policy, Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, in conjunction with the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, University of Missouri
Ashley Vancil, Sandy Rikoon, Matt Foulkes, Colleen Heflin, Joan Hermsen, and Nikki Raedeke

Clients’ Perspectives on a Technology-Based Food Assistance Application System Link
August 2012
The American Review of Public Administration
Colleen M. Heflin, Andrew S. London and Peter R. Mueser

Going Digital: The Pros and Cons of Promoting Online Food Assistance Applications PDF
February 2012
Ridge Center for Targeted Studies
Colleen M. Heflin, Peter R. Mueser, and Andrew S. London

Feeding the Hungry: Results from a Survey of Food Pantry Directors in Mid-Missouri PDF
September 2011
Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security and Institute of Public Policy, University of Missouri
Jennifer Jensen, Colleen Heflin, Joan Hermsen, and Sandy Rikoon

Compositional Change, Material Hardships, and Coping Strategies: A Comparison of Rural Missouri Food Pantry Users: 2005 to 2010

The recent economic downturn has witnessed a substantial growth in the population that is food insecure. Yet, little is known about how changing economic conditions may have affected the composition, hardships, and coping strategies of the population at risk for food insecurity.  This project investigates the impact of the current recession on food pantry users in rural Missouri using data from Wave I (2005) and Wave II (2010) of the Missouri Food Pantry Client Survey.

The aims of the study are to:

  • Document how the composition of food pantry users has changed in rural Missouri.
  • Compare the extent of material hardships and food tradeoffs made by food pantry users in 2010 as compared to 2005.
  • Determine if the types of coping strategies deployed to meet hunger needs (use of local institutions and social networks) have changed over the last five years.
  • Analyze how participation in federal programs has changed among food pantry clients between 2005 and 2010.
  • Decompose observed temporal differences in the key outcomes into the portion due to changes in endowments and the portion due to changes in coefficients (and their interaction).


Food Tradeoffs among Food Pantry Clients in Missouri, 2005 & 2010 PDF
University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security with project support from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research
Joan Hermsen and Sandy Rikoon