Drive to Feed Kids Provides More than 2 Million Meals to Missourians in Need

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri Farmers Care Foundation proudly announced Saturday, Aug. 21, that resources have been raised to provide 2,015,088 meals to help feed hungry children across our state through the 2021 Drive to Feed Kids.

“Over 10 years ago, the leadership of Missouri Farmers Care saw there was a gap between the hard work of our farmers and ranchers producing food year-round for consumers, and what ended up on Missourians’ dinner tables,” said Executive Director of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation Ashley McCarty. “They felt called to fill in that gap on behalf of those who couldn’t do anything to change their situation. Out of that effort evolved the Drive to Feed Kids.”

This year, Missouri’s agricultural youth programs partnered with the Drive to raise meals for communities across the state. Missouri 4-H members donated 356,665 meals during their 4-H Feeding Missouri campaign which ran January – April 2021 and packed an additional 500 meal boxes for veterans at the Missouri State Fair. On Aug. 17, more than 700 Missouri FFA Association members and agricultural leaders came together at the Missouri State Fair to pack 203,544 family meals for the Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day.

The Drive to Feed Kids campaign continues to expand its partnerships and ways to donate. The Hogs for Hunger program, previously known as the Missouri Farmers Care Pork Partnership, connected Missouri pig farmers, 4-H and FFA exhibitors to meat processors and local food banks. More than 900 pounds of ground pork was provided by Missouri State Fair swine exhibitors and a partnership with Feeding Missouri has contributed an additional 205,883 pounds of high-quality protein to all six regional food banks. Missouri pig farmers can still donate to their local food bank through this program. Missouri Farmers Care Foundation will reimburse $1 per pound donated to cover processing fees.

Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson, along with Missouri elected officials and agricultural leaders, joined the cause on Thursday, Aug. 19. Together, they packed 500 share 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 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food was donated to local pantries. In addition, Missouri FFA donated fresh produce from FFA student projects on display at the fair. The year-long campaign concluded Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Missouri State Fair.

“There are thousands of hard-working Missourians who can’t make ends meet and don’t have enough to feed their families. That’s just a reality in Missouri,” said State Director of Feeding Missouri Scott 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 we are truly grateful.”

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids events and how you can get involved, visit Photos from this year’s Drive to Feed Kids’ events can also be found on the Missouri Farmers Care Flickr page – Click Here.

Sponsorship of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation’s Drive to Feed Kids was provided by: Bayer, Brownfield Ag News, Missouri Farmers Care, American Family Insurance, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Bicentennial Commission, NutraBlend, Allen P. & Josephine B. Green Foundation, Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation, American Family Dreams Foundation, Missouri Pork Association, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Forrest and Charlotte Lucas – Founders of Protect the Harvest, Missouri State Fair Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Alan Wessler, Midwest Dairy, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners John Deere, PFI Western Store, Citizens Electric Cooperative, Platte Clay Electric, Ricketts Farm Service, Inc., Robert Hertzog, DVM, Mid-Buchanan FFA Alumni Boosters, Missouri FFA Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair, Missouri 4-H and the contributions of many Missouri farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.

Photo Caption: Missouri Farmers Care Drive to Feed Kids culminated Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Missouri State Fair. Through the Drive to Feed Kids, Missouri agriculture provided 207,000 pounds of pork, packed 623,000 meal boxes, and donated thousands of pounds of canned food to provide a total of 2,015,088 meals for Missouri families facing food insecurity. Missouri Farmers Care Drive to Feed Kids is presented in partnership with Bayer and Brownfield Ag News with support from the Missouri State Fair, Missouri FFA, Missouri 4-H and Missouri Department of Agriculture, along with many organizations and individuals across Missouri agriculture. Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Agriculture

Photo Caption: The fifth annual Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day was held Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the Missouri State Fair in part with the Missouri Farmers Care Drive to Feed Kids. Together, more than 700 FFA members and agricultural leaders packed 203,544 meals to feed families in need. The meals were distributed to Missouri’s regional food banks across the state. 

Missouri Farmers Care Foundation enables Missourians to understand the influence and importance of agriculture in their daily lives by serving as the centralized hub of the unified educational programs, awards, and hunger relief efforts of Missouri’s agricultural community.

Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri’s agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups promotes the growth of Missouri agriculture and rural communities through coordinated communication, education and advocacy.