AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers In Service To America) will host a “fresh food drive” in Columbia to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. and help hungry people in mid-Missouri. VISTAs working with Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN) say the great majority of foods donated to agencies addressing hunger are highly processed and packaged because they are shelf-stable and abundant. In an effort to nourish our community, the “fresh food drive” will break that pattern.VISTA representatives working with MRCN, as well as the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Centro Latino, Boonville Farm and Garden Coalition, and the Missouri River Bluffs Association will staff the food drive locations, and explain hunger issues in mid-Missouri. The USDA estimates that food insecurity in Missouri affected 16 percent of all households in 2011. African American households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as white, non-Hispanic households. Counties with majority African American populations are disproportionately represented among the top 10% of counties with thehighest rates of food insecurity. VISTAs will deliver donated produce and other foods to four local food pantries and at-risk meal service agencies. They will also help to cook and serve these foods to those in need. Based on nightly estimates at each drop-off location, more than 200 hungry people in Columbia will be served fresh, local, healthy food. –Drop-Off Locations and Times–Friday, January 18: * Clover’s Natural Market on East Broadway 2 – 6 p.m. Saturday January 19: * Columbia Farmer’s Market at Parkade Plaza, 9 a.m. – noon. * Clover’s Natural Market on East Broadway; noon – 4 p.m.Sunday, January 20: * Clover’s Natural Market on East Broadway; 2 – 6 p.m.For more information, and how to participate, please visit the link to the MRCN Food Projects site below.
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