Tag Archives: missouri


A collection of news and information on the topic of food security from local, national, and international sources.

Our Team

Darren Chapman
Ph.D. student, Rural Sociology
B.A., Psychology, Missouri Southern State University
Darren’s interests center on food security, healthy food access, social inequalities, health disparities, and emergency food systems. He is involved with community and learning gardens, while also working with Grow Well Missouri to increase access to healthy food options for food pantry users.



kathlee Kathlee Freeman
Masters student, Rural Sociology (with GIS Certificate)
Kathlee’s research focus includes technology use and adoption. Before returning to graduate school, she worked with a variety of nonprofits conducting research, writing grants, managing and developing programs and overseeing communications.



Matt Foulkes
Associate Professor, Geography
Ph.D., Geography, University of Illinois
Dr. Foulkes’s interests include migration patterns and behaviors of the rural poor, ethnographic approaches to population geography, the geography of food insecurity, affordable housing and manufactured housing communities, and environmental knowledge transfer in the exurbs. His recent research projects include an analysis of large scale Hispanic migration in the U.S., poverty migration in Illinois, and studies of highly mobile, poor, rural communities.


Mary Hendrickson
Assistant Professor, Rural Sociology
Ph.D., Rural Sociology, University of Missouri
Dr. Hendrickson’s scholarship focuses on the social and economic organization of different types of food systems, they ways in which food systems impact social, ecological, and economic spheres; and options for changing how we organize food systems. Prior, Dr. Hendrickson spent 15 years with University of Missouri Extension working to create robust local food systems. She is currently the Undergraduate Advisor in Sustainable Agriculture and teaches courses on sustainable food and farming systems.


Joan HermsenJoan Hermsen
Associate Professor, Sociology
Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Maryland
Dr. Hermsen’s research focuses primarily on gender inequality in the labor market. In particular, recent research topics include differences in work-related travel, the use of flextime, occupational gender segregation, the gender wage gap, and the glass ceiling. Joan also co-directs a study on sexual assault and is chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Missouri.


Bill McKelvey
Project Coordinator – M.S., Rural Sociology, University of Missouri
Bill McKelvey’s interests and experience center on building and strengthening community food systems. He has been involved in community gardening, youth gardening, farm to school, and direct marketing projects and worked for a number of years with University of Missouri Extension. His current work with Grow Well Missouri is broadly focused on improving access to healthy foods for families who use food pantries.


Nikki Raedeke
Assistant Teaching Professor and
Director of Dietetics, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
RD and Ph.D., Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri
Dr. Raedeke’s research interests focus on nutritional needs and food security among low-income adults. She directs the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and is active with the Missouri Dietetic Association and its central Missouri Chapter.



Sandy Rikoon
Dean, College of Human Environmental Sciences
Professor, Rural Sociology
Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security
Ph.D., Sociology and American Studies, Indiana University
Dr. Rikoon led the effort to establish the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security in 2004, the first center of its kind nationally to combine research, training, and outreach.  His research interests include environmental sociology, political ecology, food security, and ethnicity. He has been involved in sustainable agriculture outreach and education activities as well.

Jennifer Bean
Assistant Teaching Professor, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri
RD and M.S., Nutrition Sciences, University of Missouri
Jennifer Schnell’s primary interest is nutrition education and the impact of nutrition on chronic disease. Her current work centers on coordinating nutrition education at food pantries and providing recipes based on common pantry foods. Jennifer also works as a clinical instructor for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, University of Missouri.

Our History

In 2000, faculty and students at the University of Missouri (MU) established the Missouri Action Research Connection, a social action research group that partnered with community organizations to help answer research questions to better accomplish the organizations’ goals. Among the partners was the Central Missouri Food Bank (CMFB) Pantry, which needed help in finding a new location and learning more about its clients to better meet their nutritional needs. By 2003, a group of faculty and students, largely based in the College of Agriculture, Food and natural Resources (CAFNR) at MU, had coalesced around food security issues.

In 2004, the group formally organized as the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, with official center approval from CAFNR and the MU Provost’s Office.  Faculty representing four departments (Rural Sociology, Sociology, Geography, and Nutritional Sciences) successfully applied for the Center’s first competitive grant in 2005. With funding from the University of Missouri Research Board, the Center completed one of the largest regional food pantry client household surveys in the country, interviewing more than 1300 clients in the CMFB’s 29-county region. Over the years, the number of faculty and students affiliated with the Center has continued to grow and new projects have been initiated.

We welcome inquiries from near and far. Please contact us at any time for more information about our projects or to learn more about our Center.

Sandy Rikoon