by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – Here we are, officially in the holiday season.
For most, that means Thanksgiving leftovers of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and whatever that thing was your cousin made with Jello (that no one ate). It also means being on the lookout for bargains while gift shopping.
But, for more Missourians than you may realize, this time of year is crucial because it’s when food banks collect the majority of their donations. Monica Palmer from Feeding Missouri (formerly known as the Missouri Food Banks Association) says stereotypes don’t apply when it comes to hunger. As many as one in five Missourians may be struggling to afford both food and their monthly bills.
That’s because thousands are still underemployed, can only find part time work or have seen their expenses increase when their income has remained stagnant. While gas prices are down at the moment, health insurance and other costs have gone up for many workers. While some of those helped by food banks and local food pantries are unemployed, Palmer says others could be the person in the office or cubicle next to you.
It could be your child’s classmate and it could be the senior citizen who sits in the pew near you in church.
Because of efficiencies in collection and distribution, donations and volunteers, one dollar can feed nine or ten people through a food bank. Right now, many communities have food drives in place and they are crucial to feeding Missourians now and year around.
Palmer says you can help even if you don’t have extra cash to donate. Volunteers are crucial to keeping costs down and maximizing the impact of every dollar, canned food, boxed food, fresh food and beverages like milk and juice that is donated.
Learn more at www.FeedingMissouri.org