‘Drive to Feed Kids’ Provides 2.4 Million Meals to Missourians in Need
On Saturday, Aug. 20, Missouri Farmers Care Foundation and partners proudly announced that resources were raised to provide 2,425,185 meals to help feed food-insecure children across our state through the 2022 Drive to Feed Kids.
"Partners in the Drive to Feed Kids generously respond to address the stark reality that 1 in 7 Missouri children regularly face hunger," said Executive Director of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation Ashley McCarty. "These partners stand in the gap between the productivity of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness providing food, and the disparity of how that abundance ends up on Missourians’ dinner tables. Over 2.4 million days will be brighter for our Missouri neighbors thanks to this outpouring from the heart of Missouri agriculture."
Missouri’s agricultural youth programs again partnered with the Drive to raise meals for communities across the state. Missouri 4-H members donated 264,000 meals during their 4-H Feeding Missouri campaign which ran January through April of 2022 and packed an additional 3,000 meal boxes for veterans at the Missouri State Fair. On Aug. 16, hundreds of Missouri FFA Association members and agricultural leaders came together at the Missouri State Fair to pack 152,000 family meals for the Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day.
Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson, along with Missouri elected officials and agricultural leaders, joined the cause on Thursday, Aug. 18. Together, they packed 300 emergency boxes that will provide nourishment to central Missouri families in need.
Fairgoers participated in the events by bringing non-perishable food items and monetary donations on Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday. Through these activities and a generous canned food donation by Woods Supermarket, more than 13,000 pounds of non-perishable food was donated to local pantries.
The Drive to Feed Kids campaign continues to expand through partnerships. The Hogs for Hunger program connects Missouri pig farmers, 4-H and FFA exhibitors, and meat processors with local food banks. Through the partnership with Feeding Missouri and Missouri State Fair, swine exhibitors, producers, and processors provided 1,378,241 servings of high-quality protein to all six regional food banks. Missouri pig farmers can still donate to their local food bank through this program. Feeding Missouri reimburses $0.80 per pound for each animal committed while Missouri Farmers Care Foundation reimburses producers $1.25 per pound donated to cover processing.
“There are thousands of hard-working Missourians who can’t make ends meet and don’t have enough to feed their families. That’s a reality in Missouri,” said Acting State Director of Feeding Missouri Chris Baker. “However, another reality is the heart and commitment of Missouri’s farmers to do all they can to help neighbors in need. The impact of the Drive to Feed Kids campaign is substantial and Missouri's food banks are truly grateful.”
The year-long campaign concluded Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Missouri State Fair.
To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, including how to be involved in 2023, visit
www.MOFarmersCare.com/drive. Photos from this year’s Drive to Feed Kids’ events can be found on the Missouri Farmers Care Flickr page.
--Sponsorship of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation’s Drive to Feed Kids was provided by: ADM, Brownfield Ag News, American Family Insurance, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, NutraBlend, FCS Financial, Missouri FFA Foundation, Missouri Farm Bureau, Allen P. & Josephine B. Green Foundation, Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation, American Family Dreams Foundation, Forrest and Charlotte Lucas – Founders of Protect the Harvest, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri State Fair Foundation, Midwest Dairy, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners John Deere, Poet Bioprocessing, Mighty Eagles 4-H Club, Henderson Implement Company, Professional Pet Association, Missouri FFA Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair, Missouri 4-H, University of Missouri Extension and the contributions of many Missouri farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.