COLUMBIA — The Missouri Food Bank Association distributed more than 117 million pounds of food in 2013 — a new record, the organization said.
The six food banks across the state distributed 117,007,189 pounds of food, which the association translates into 97,505,980 meals.
The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, located in Columbia, serves 121,000 people in mid-Missouri whom the U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies as food insecure.
Missouri had the nation's second-highest level of very low food security in 2013, according to the USDA. The department defines very low food security as "disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake," according to their website.
The association's State Director Scott Baker said the stagnant economy has put many Missouri residents at risk.
“While there seems to be positive economic news at a macro level, we have yet to see that reflected at Missouri’s food pantries and kitchens," he said in a news release.
Baker thinks that despite the organization’s record year, low food security will persist.
“This will likely remain the case until we collectively recognize the problem and make its eradication a top priority,” he said.
For information on volunteering and donating to the Food Bank, visit sharefoodbringhope.org.