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, 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. Currently, the center is affiliated with both the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and College of Human Environmental Sciences.

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.

Mary Hendrickson and Sandy Rikoon