Local organizations address food insecurity - KOAM TV 7

Local organizations address food insecurity


According to Feeding America, 14 percent of households are food insecure. Missouri and Kansas both have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the national average. Organizations are looking to address the problem locally.

At least once a week, residents of the Cardinal Towers in Webb City don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. The Joplin Area Food Action Network has partnered with Serving on the Streets Ministries to provide a fresh, healthy meal every Tuesday.

“We’re just kind of going through the motions and just trying to help those in need who are going through the difficult transitions, looking for people who are food insecure," says Aaron Garcia with Serving on the Streets Ministries.

Many of the residents are disabled or living on a fixed income.

“The food is good and the people are real friendly and if they have extra food they give it to you in a Styrofoam thing to take up to your apartment for the next day,” says resident Michael Galecki.

In its 2014 food equity assessment, JFAN determined that Webb City was in need of more food support, specifically Cardinal Towers residents.

“Food insecurity is the inability to make sure that you have enough food on a daily basis. People who are food insecure often have to skip meals or eat less than they want to or choose to pay utilities or rent instead of buying food,” says Emily Larson with the Joplin Area Food Action Network.

And when JFAN surveyed residents of the Cardinal Towers, 100 percent of those that responded said that they're living under the poverty level while 80 percent feel food insecure. This meal helps.

“We benefit from this a lot,” says Galecki.

For SOS Ministries, it’s not just about the food.

“We also want to minister to them, talk to them, encourage them, inspire them in any way that we can so they can understand who they are and that people really do care about them,” says Garcia.

And after only a few meals, residents look forward to the volunteer’s weekly visit.

While the funding from JFAN will soon end, SOS will continue to serve the Tuesday night meal. They are looking for community partners to help.

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