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“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Need in Our Community

Hunger

  • With a population of over 25,000 people, Adair county has nearly one in five who are food insecure (18.6%) (Source: Feeding Missouri). Some say the number is even higher for Adair county at 25.6% (Source: Food Bank of Central and Northeast MO).

  • The number of food banks, pantries, and meal programs in the US has increased from 200 (in 1980) to over 60,000 now. Yet the number of food insecure people has risen also from 20 million (1980) to 50 million now. (Source: Feeding America)

  • Households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 19 percent compared to 12 percent. (Source: Feeding America)

  • Residents in rural areas are more likely to be below the poverty line and food insecure than those in urban areas of Missouri.

 

Health

  • In Missouri, adult obesity is 30.2%. Childhood obesity is 12.9% for 2-4 year olds and 14.9% for high school students. (Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
    Overweight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

  • One in three American children born after 2000 will develop diabetes. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

  • The obesity epidemic costs our nation $117 billion per year in direct medical expenses and indirect costs, including lost productivity (Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).

 

Food System

  • 40% of all food in the United States never gets eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste (Source: National Resource Defense Council)

  • The relative price of fruit and vegetables has increased 40% since the obesity epidemic first began in the early 1980s. In contrast, the relative price of processed foods has decreased by 40%.

  • Since 1995, the USDA has spent a quarter of a trillion dollars on farm subsidies. And those subsidies mostly support the production of corn and soybeans that are the primary ingredients in processed, high fat, high-sugar foods; not fruits, vegetables and whole grains. (Source: US Dept of Agriculture)

  • In Adair county, 50,000 acres go to corn and soybeans, while only 11 acres are dedicated to vegetable and orchard production. (Source: K-REDI)

  • Food insecurity and obesity are often related. If you have a limited budget, you’re going to choose the cheapest calories you can find, and that’s always highly processed, high-fat or high-sugar, subsidized foods