COLUMBIA — People who don’t want to cook for Thanksgiving this year can order a turkey from MU food science students and help the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri at the same time.
The Food Science Association in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is taking orders for 10- to 12-pound, ready-to-eat smoked turkeys.
"They are fully cooked, so all you have to do is to warm them up," said Gelsey Minnick, vice president of the Food Science Association. "This is a great way to avoid having to get up at 5 a.m. to cook your Thanksgiving dinner."
The turkeys could be requested frozen or pre-thawed.
The cost is $30 each. But if customers bring canned food items at pick-up, they will get a discount of 25 cents for each can, up to 20 cans. The cans will be donated to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
The project is part of the college's Collaborating for a Healthy Future project, a year-long effort coordinating resources within the college to promote healthy food donations to the Food Bank.
Healthy food choices are important, as food pantry clients’ risk of obesity is twice that of the general population. In the last 20 years, Missouri’s obesity rate has risen from more than 10 percent to greater than 30 percent among adults, placing Missouri among the most obese states in the nation.
"What the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources wants to do is to raise people's awareness about the products they are selecting for donation," said Randy Mertens, media coordinator of the college.
Paying attention to the nutritional values and calories of what is purchased for donation can help relieve the obesity problem that happens around America, Mertens said.
Turkey orders can be sent to Minnick at firstname.lastname@example.org. The pick-up is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 16-18, in Eckles Hall on the MU campus.