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Missouri’s food banks receiving $5 million in CARES funds

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson released $5 million in funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Wednesday to go towards Missouri’s six regional food banks.

“Protecting the health and well-being of Missourians is a key component of our Show Me Strong Recovery Plan,” Parson said. “This additional funding for food banks will help ensure continued access to good nutrition for Missouri’s vulnerable citizens during these challenging times.”

The food banks support more than 1,000 meal sites across the state, including homeless shelters, soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, and food pantries.

Nearly $1.5 million is earmarked for the St. Louis Area Food Bank. Harvesters Community Food Network will receive more than $990,000, and $925,000 will go to Ozarks Food Harvest.

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will gain $708,000, with nearly $505,000 going to the Southeast Missouri Food Bank and another $359,000 earmarked for Second Harvest Community Food Bank.

Feeding Missouri, a coalition encompassing all six food banks, is set to receive $50,000 to go towards training, reporting, and technical assistance.

“The pandemic’s impact on Missouri’s food banks has been profound,” Feeding Missouri Executive Director Scott Baker said in a statement. “Food is more expensive and harder to acquire, more people need it, and fewer people are available to help distribute it. These additional funds will help us keep up with higher demand and ensure food is available for struggling Missouri families. We are very grateful to Gov. Parson and the state of Missouri for recognizing the need and partnering with us to help address the problem.”

Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said the funds would provide vital support to food banks struggling to keep up with demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.