SEMO Food Bank awarded $500K grant to help Pemiscot Co. residents

According to a release from SEMO Food Bank, Pemiscot County has some of the highest rates of...
According to a release from SEMO Food Bank, Pemiscot County has some of the highest rates of hunger in the state.(Jeremy J. Ford)
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 12:52 PM CDT
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PEMISCOT COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Southeast Missouri Food Bank received a $500,000 grant to help address hunger and food insecurity in Pemiscot County.

The grant, from Feeding America’s Food Insecurity Equity Impact Fund, is in partnership with Faith Temple Complex.

According to a release from SEMO Food Bank, the county has some of the highest rates of hunger in the state.

“We are very honored to be one of the recipients of the Food Security Equity Impact Fund,” Joey Keys, chief executive officer of SEMO Food Bank, . “This can make a long-term, lasting impact in Pemiscot County, giving its residents sustainable access to healthy food. This effort goes hand-in-hand with our mission to build stronger communities through the power of food. We hope that working with our partners in the community, we can address some of the barriers faced by residents in Pemiscot County.”

The food bank and Faith Temple Complex in Hayti will work together to improve food insecurity in the community.

They said the funding will support the development of a community garden and the building of a pavilion for a local farmers market. Both projects aim to improve the communities’ access to healthy food.

“Faith Temple Complex is so excited for the equity impact opportunity,” said Cora Sanders of Faith Temple Complex. “This will allow us to support our community in determining the most effective solutions to improve food access within and for the community, in particular for black community members. Talk and planning is underway to get our black and brown farmers back in the game to produce food for this area. The impact can be limitless as we work to find solutions with those who are most affected.”

According to the release, in Pemiscot County, 21 percent of the population is considered food insecure and nearly 30 percent of children live in homes that don’t have the resources to acquire sufficient food. The county is in the top 10 most food insecure in the state, and is #74 for food insecurity nationally.

Feeding America established the Food Security Equity Impact Fund in March 2021 and seeded it with a $20 million donation from MacKenzie Scott.

They said the fund was established to drive investments to communities of color which are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity.

Southeast Missouri Food Bank was one of 25 food banks across the country to receive grants from the fund.