Health and Aging Initiatives
LINC site coordinators are working with these and all families to help them focus on healthy foods for their children, along with stretching the benefit with smart shopping. LINC also has been promoting and supporting the development of community gardens on school grounds or at neighborhood locations.
Summer Food Program
Missouri will receive up to $2 million from the USDA to provide access to healthy foods to approximately 10,000 vulnerable children from the St. Louis, Kansas City, Hickman Mills and Center school districts next summer.
“No child should ever go hungry in Missouri; but unfortunately, many children who receive free or reduced-price meals are at risk of malnutrition during the summer. I have long been a strong advocate for these programs to help children in need, and I’m pleased that Missouri is leading the way to help these children in the summer months as well.” - Gov. Jay Nixon
The Missouri project operates as a collaborative between the Department of Social Services; the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Department of Health and Senior Services; the Local Investment Commission (LINC) in Kansas City; Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS) in St. Louis; and the Kansas City, St. Louis, Hickman Mills and Center school districts.
Missouri’s grant is the second-year expansion of an existing pilot project already implemented in the Kansas City area for which Governor Nixon’s administration competed aggressively against other states. Because of Missouri’s success in the first year of grant implementation, the number of children receiving a food benefit from the grant will quadruple from 2,500 children to 10,000. In addition to providing substantial nutrition benefits during the summer, this $2 million investment – $1 million for St. Louis and $1 million for the Kansas City area – will generate substantial local economic benefits for grocers, farmer’s markets and other food retailers.
As part of the project implementation the USDA will execute an independent evaluation of this project. The evaluation will determine whether the model implemented in Missouri offers an effective method to improve food security among children during the summer. At the conclusion of the evaluation a report will be made available to Congress and the public.