The Maneater

CAFNR teams up with the Food Bank to boast healthier food

CAFNR joins a year-long partnership with The Food Bank for Central and Northwest Missouri to provide more fresh food to the community.

CAFNR Dean Thomas Payne announces a partnership with The Food Bank for Central and Northwest Missouri on Oct. 14 during the "CAFNR Comes Home" event. The project aims to improve community nutrition by donating fresh food to the Food Bank.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) has announced a partnership with The Food Bank for Central and Northwest Missouri in order to improve community nutrition by donating fresh food to the Food Bank on Friday, Oct. 14.   "The idea came up about us (CAFNR) joining with the Food Bank (to provide) healthier food to the community that needed," CAFNR Dean Tom Payne said at the "CAFNR Comes Home" event during MU's Homecoming.   The partnership is a year-long relationship in which CAFNR promises to donate fresh food products, including 500 pounds of beef, 500 pounds of pork and other fresh meat.

CAFNR also plans to grow two acres of fresh sweet corn to provide between 14,000 and 28,000 ears for the community. Payne said the profit of the corn will go to the Food Bank as well.   "It is critical for us to employ our knowledge and expertise to emphasize the healthy food aspects in our own backyard and serve as an example for other organizations to follow," Payne said in a news release.   The Food Bank's Director of Development Bobbie Kincade was also at the Homecoming event.   "Because of your good work and your expectation, we are able to feed a hundred thousand people every month in our service area," Kincade said.   Food insecurity rates are high in local communities, Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick said in a news release.   "Recent statistics show that one in six people in our service area are food insecure, which means that they do not always know where they will get their next meal," Kirkpatrick said. "The same statistic is worse for children. One in four children in our community experiences food insecurity."   Rural sociology professor Sandy Rikoon and project coordinator Bill Mckelvey are currently working on a "Pantry Nutrition Improvement Project" with a number of food pantries to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods.

"In CAFNR, there (are) lots of faculty and other staffs who are involved in food production," McKelvey said. "So the college pledged the opportunity to give back (to) the community to provide higher quality food, like fresh vegetables and meats, which are often short supplied in food pantry."   Rikoon said the partnership is not only a great service-learning opportunity for MU students but also informs the students about the issue of food shortages in Columbia.   "In every community, including Columbia, there are a lot of hungers," Rikoon said. "Students need to know that in Missouri, a state which has a rich agricultural production still has a lot of people who face hunger."

In addition to the food donation, CAFNR plans to sponsor an annual fundraising event with the Food Bank, called the Float Your Boat for the Food Bank Cardboard Regatta in April 2012 at Stephen's Lake.

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