Harvest for Hunger Drive Supports MO Food Banks

From left to right - Mark Russell, Missouri Soybean Association; Dave Drennan, Missouri Dairy Association; Dr. Jon Hagler, Missouri's Director of Agriculture; Frank Finnegan, St. Louis Area Foodbank; Scott Baker, Missouri Food Bank Association; Dan Kleinsorge, Missouri Farmers Care; Rep. Spreng, Missouri House Dist. 27; Tina Van Horn, Soy Labs LLC

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's Harvest for Hunger Food Drive concluded amid more than 7,000 pounds of food donated by employees and a nearly $20,000 contribution from Missouri farmers. Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler presented the donation to Scott Baker of the Missouri Food Bank Association and Frank Finnegan of the St. Louis Area Foodbank on behalf of Missouri agriculture.

This morning's announcement included a donation of 300 cases, approximately 2,000 pounds, of CareFast, a soy protein-based nutritional supplement donated by Missouri Farmers Care, a partnership group including the Missouri Soybean Association and many of the state's other agricultural organizations. CareFast includes Lunasin, a supplement developed at the Missouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, Mo. by a research team from Soy Labs LLC that has been shown to reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.

The Southeast Missouri Food Bank and the St. Louis Area Foodbank are sharing in the distribution of the CareFast donation from Missouri Farmers Care, with 150 cases delivered to the Southeast Missouri Food Bank, which serves Missourians throughout the bootheel and into the state's south-central counties. The remaining 150 cases were delivered to the St. Louis area, which stretches from Pike to Iron counties.

Additional donations made by the employees of the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced this morning will be distributed to Missourians needing assistance throughout Missouri via the Missouri Food Bank Association's network of banks and pantries, including the Southeast Missouri Food Bank and it's branches.

The Department kicked off the food drive in December with a donation of non-perishable items and over $1,000 in cash, benefiting food banks across the state. Throughout the winter months, the Department accepted donations at its office in Jefferson City and encouraged all Missourians to donate both fresh and non-perishable food items.

For more information about the Harvest for Hunger Food Drive, including a list of food banks and pantries in your area, visit the program's website at http://agrimissouri.com/growandgive/. And to learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at http://www.mda.mo.gov.