Rural Hunger

According to the USDA, food insecurity affects more than 49 million Americans. Nowhere is this problem more difficult to address than in rural areas. Here, reaching those in need is more complicated, and the stigma of seeking help is greater.

Southeast Missouri Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, has been serving the Southeast Missouri area for 25 years helping 40,000 people in 2009.

According to the 2000 Census, over 19 percent of Americans -- 55 million people--live in non-metropolitan areas throughout the United States. These rural communities face unique challenges. They generally experience higher poverty and unemployment, have less access to public transportation and therefore lack access to government services that could be available to them, and face higher prices at the grocery store.

In addition, just as in urban areas, the costs of living, including heating and housing costs, are rising. But people in rural areas often must drive farther to find work, forcing many to choose between putting food on the table or gas in the car.

With widespread community support, we are working to make sure that those in need are made aware of the help available to them, such as area member agencies--food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters--that provide emergency food assistance.

For more information on how you can help the hungry or receive food assistance contact the Southeast Missouri Food Bank at 573.651.0400.