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Missouri Foundation for Health awards $1 million to Food Bank

March 15, 2013

in State

COLUMBIA (March 15, 2013) – Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) today announced a two-year, $1 million award to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri as part of the foundation’s $4 million Emergency Food Access Project.

MFH’s project aims to increase food distribution to as many underserved Missourians as possible while enhancing access to nutritious and fresh food options. MFH’s contribution to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri will be used for equipment and systems designed to enhance delivery of food – including fresh produce — to its 131 partner agencies.

Transportation and product-handling equipment will include:

• 2014 Freightliner semi-tractor with refrigerated trailer

• 2014 Freightliner 24-foot refrigerated box truck

• 2013 Ford Transit van

• Three Crown forklifts

• 2006 48-foot refrigerated trailer with liftgate.

Efficiency and productivity equipment purchased through the MFH award include two electric pallet jacks, two pallet scales, new loading bay doors and cooler doors, backup generator, and new donor database software that will replace a system that has served faithfully since 1995.

A $300,000 sum has been reserved to provide infrastructure support to The Food Bank’s 131 agency partners. These are the food pantries, shelters for the homeless and the abused, soup kitchens, low-income children’s programs, and senior programs which annually distribute 91 percent of The Food Bank’s 28 million pounds of food. The support, in the form of grants, will be for refrigerated storage or expansion needed to increase access and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, in keeping with the Foundation’s goals. Additional revenue has been allocated for shipping fresh produce.

“As the need of our hungry neighbors has increased, The Food Bank has been focused on acquiring more and more food,” said Peggy Kirkpatrick, executive director. “We have also made a concerted effort of increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables available. The Missouri Foundation for Health’s partnership in this vision will allow us to dramatically increase the amount of nutritious produce distributed to those in need. In short, this investment by MFH is a tremendous blessing!”

“We are very happy to be working with The Food Bank, a strong, effective organization that has tackled the issue of hunger in Missouri for many years,” said Robert Hughes, MFH president and CEO.

One out of every five children in The Food Bank’s 32-county service region is food-insecure. This means they do not have access to adequate amounts of nutritious and safe food, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief network.

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About The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri

Thirty-two years ago, The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri grew from a concept and a thought into a viable disaster and hunger relief organization distributing millions of pounds of food. Today, The Food Bank delivers on its stated mission — “Sharing Food, Bringing Hope” — for over 105,000 people each month across more than one-third of Missouri. Through our network of more than 130 partner agencies and 129 Buddy Pack schools, we distributed nearly 28 million pounds of food in FY2012. For more information, visit www.sharefoodbringhope.org.

About Missouri Foundation for Health

Missouri Foundation for Health is an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the health of the communities and people we serve. MFH works as a changemaker, educator and partner to promote community and population health and to increase access to care for the uninsured and underserved. For more information, visit www.mffh.org.

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