food insecurity

vegetables
Martin Cathrae / Flickr

Jars of peanut butter and packets of veggie chili mix sit on metal shelves in a white room, ready to be picked up by hungry University of Missouri students. But this place isn’t a supermarket or campus convenience store. This is a food pantry—MU’s Tiger Pantry, to be exact.

A food pantry. On a college campus? In Columbia? Yes. The rising cost of college and other higher education necessities can make students run short when it comes to food. Rachel Volmert, the director of Tiger Pantry, said this increasing financial burden makes some students think that they have to choose between paying for school or buying nutritious food.


While the nation continues to see a decline in the number of people experiencing food insecurity, Missouri is one of a handful of states that saw an increase over the past year in the number of people who struggle to afford enough food.

According to a Gallup survey released earlier this month, 17.3 percent of those surveyed in Missouri said they experienced food insecurity so far this year, which is half percent increase from last year’s number.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA News

 


The USDA estimates that more than 2 million people live in rural food deserts, or low-income communities more than 10 miles from a grocery store.  

Four years ago, the last grocery store in Pilot Grove, Mo., closed its doors, turning the town into a rural food desert.  The town had only a convenience store from which to bu food.   

That is, until 23 community investors came together to open Tyler's Market, a fully-stocked grocery store.  On the market's first day open, Pilot Grove residents gathered at the store.  

 

Marcus Mo / Flickr

The 2013 edition of the Missouri Hunger Atlas is a 145-page-strong document and, according to one of its main creators, has more than you'd ever want to know about the extent of food insecurity in the Show-Me State. Missouri is in the top ten of states with highest number of food-insecure residents in the nation.

Marcus Mo / Flickr

The 2013 edition of the Missouri Hunger Atlas is a 145-page-strong document and, according to one of its main creators, has more than you'd ever want to know about the extent of food insecurity in the Show-Me State. Missouri is in the top ten of states with highest number of food-insecure residents in the nation.

Before the atlas, no one really kept a centralized collection of the different aspects of Missouri’s food insecurity problem. 

Marcus Mo / Flickr

A report from the University of Missouri’s Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security shows more than one in five Missouri households with children are food insecure, meaning that they worry about not having enough food.