Tag Archives: missouri

MU to Host ‘Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit’

universities fighting world hunger logo green

The 2016 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit will take place on Feb 26 and 27 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The theme this year is “From Poverty to Promise.”  The summit will bring students, faculty, and professionals together to explore solutions to hunger at home and abroad. It will feature interactive sessions, renowned keynote speakers, and ample opportunities for networking and dialogue. Invited guests will lead discussions on the connections between food security and health, policy solutions to domestic hunger, and addressing issues of stigma in vulnerable populations, among others. Registration is now open. Go to the summit registration web page to reserve your spot. Sponsored by the Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development, the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, Mizzou Advantage, and partners.

New Missouri Hunger Atlas Raises Awareness of Extent, Depth of Hunger in Missouri

The Missouri Hunger Atlas 2013, recently released by the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, provides a county-by-county assessment of the extent of food insecurity in the state. The Atlas also measures the work of a host of public and private programs intended to help people struggling with hunger.

First issued in 2008, the Missouri Hunger Atlas is now in it’s third edition and features updated county tables and rankings, indicator maps, and trend analyses. A new feature of the 2013 edition is a Food Affordability measure. This measure estimates the percent of income required each week by households to meet average food expenditures in a given county.

The 2013 Atlas is available in whole or part and is easy to use and access by visiting the Missouri Hunger Atlas 2013 webpage.

Poverty Summit Brings Together Advocates and Experts

missourians to end poverty graphic

The 2013 Poverty Summit, sponsored by Missourians to End Poverty, took place on April 9th in Jefferson City, Missouri. The summit provided an opportunity for organizations and advocates from across the state to network, learn from one another, and develop strategies for addressing poverty in Missouri. This year’s summit featured the notable Peter Edelman, author of So Rich So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America, who discussed issues related to wealth disparities, unemployment, and the working poor. Other featured speakers included Eileen Wallace and Gene Nichol.

More information about the summit can be found at the Public News Service and KBIA.

Center Receives Grant to Expand Work with Food Pantries

Missouri Foundation for Health Logo

The Missouri Foundation for Health recently awarded the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security (ICFS) a five year, nearly $500,000 grant to expand nutrition related activities with food pantries in Missouri. With this grant, the Center will build upon its current Food Pantry Nutrition Project. “We are very honored to receive this grant and are excited by the opportunity it will provide to take this work to the next level,” said Bill McKelvey, project coordinator.

A primary goal of the project is to help food pantries find ways to get healthier food into the hands of people who use pantries. By forming Wellness Groups at each participating pantry, the project will  help food pantry staff, volunteers, and community members initiate projects and policies that ultimately lead to better health for food pantry clients.

Building on the successful Seeds that Feed pilot project, under this new grant ICFS and partners will distribute garden seeds and supplies to support home and community gardening efforts. Educational materials will be developed and learning opportunities are planned to build the capacity of food pantry clients to expand or start vegetable gardens.

The project will also include opportunities for food pantry staff and volunteers from across the state to network and learn from one another.

“We are trying to reach our goals by taking a variety of approaches, aimed at different levels, to make it easier for pantry clients to access and consume healthy foods and help food pantries sustain health and nutrition efforts over the long term,” said McKelvey.

The first two food pantries enrolled in the project are the Shelby County Food Pantry and St. James Caring Center. The project is supported by a host of partners including the Health Communication Research Center, the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, University of Missouri Extension, and the Missouri Food Bank Association.

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.

Can these Minnesota ads reduce obesity?

bluecross mn logo

Minnesotans have something new to watch on TV: Commercials encouraging them to reduce their weight. They are a part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota’s latest campaign to reduce obesity rates.

These ads haven’t been universally loved, drawing criticism from those who argue that people respond better to positive message about health and healthy eating rather than negative ones. The insurance company is defending the ads.

The ads can be viewed in Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog post at the Washington Post.

Catching up with the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture Farm Sign

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, a non-profit organization in Columbia, Missouri, has been working to expand fresh food options in central Columbia since 2008.  The group began with a small demonstration garden and has grown to include a 1.3 acre urban farm, an on-site farm stand that accepts SNAP benefits, an Opportunity Gardens program (helping people install and maintain vegetable gardens at their homes), youth gardening education, a landscaping division, and more.

The Columbia Daily Tribune recently caught up with the group just before their 3rd Annual Harvest Hootenanny Fundraiser. Read the rest of the story.

NPR: Recession Still Hurting U.S. Families Trying To Put Food On The Table

A recent post on NPR’s food blog, The Salt, reported that “the number of U.S. families struggling to put enough food on the table remains at record-high levels.” This comes from new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department estimates that approximately 14.9 percent of American households were food insecure in 2011. Of those 5.7 percent had very low food security, meaning that food intake by some household members was reduced or disrupted at times during the year. Food insecurity levels are nearly the same as in 2010 and have remained at this level since the start of the recession in 2007.



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