The Stigma of Visiting Food Pantries

Mother Gloria and daughter Summer know the stigma that can accompany visiting a pantry. But when it comes to feeding your family, you have to swallow your pride. “At first, I was like, I don’t need to go there. We’re fine. We’ll make it,” Gloria said recalling her first pantry visit. “I’ve learned since that…

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Donate, Don’t Throw Away

Tyler Kemplin got into personal training and nutrition after his mother and a close friend both passedaway due to health issues. He posted some photos of his meal prepping on social media, and peoplebegan asking about purchasing meals from him. In an instant, Pulse Fitness & Nutrition in CapeGirardeau was formed. “I wanted to help…

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When SSI Isn’t Enough

With as much as Linda paid in to Social Security over her lifetime, she thought she would receive back more in benefits when she reached retirement. “I get Social Security but it’s small, and I have a hard time getting by. I’m low-income, and I need help with food,” she said, adding that she visits…

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Ruth & Kaira

The return to school means buying school supplies and clothing, expenses that can be hard for families to manage – especially if they have multiple children. Ruth, from Advance, understands that challenge all too well as she is raising three grandchildren by herself. Preparing them for returning to school put a dent in Ruth’s wallet…

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Joyce’s Story

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many people are struggling more than ever to make ends meet and some are forced to choose between eating or paying bills. On a bright Saturday morning at Bread Shed, a food pantry in Poplar Bluff, more than 200 people wait patiently to get food provided through Southeast Missouri…

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Food Insecurity in New Madrid County

Imagine 2,310 adults standing in a line. Now add another 1,030 or so children. Those 3,340 people represent food insecurity in New Madrid County. With a county population of only 17,810, New Madrid County has a 19 percent overall food-insecurity rate and a 24.6 percent child food-insecurity rate. This compares to Missouri’s rate of 13…

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JoAnn’s Story

  Rising food costs due to COVID-19 are especially hard for people like JoAnn, who lives on a fixed income. The Ste. Genevieve woman receives Social Security and SNAP (food stamp) benefits, but it’s not enough for her and her veteran roommate to live on.  “Hamburger is more than $6 (a pound). Pork steaks are more than $6. I don’t know how…

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Susan’s Story

A mother’s love for her child is comparable to nothing else. Even in the face of hunger, Susan, a lifelong Delta, MO resident, would sacrifice her own comfort to make sure her teenage daughter is fed. Being a single mom on disability with little income has been hard. With a growing teenager who needs extra…

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Tim’s Story

Volunteering in the COVID-19 pandemic can be a scary proposition, but doing it for a cause you truly believe in and knowing it makes a difference to those in need is a risk worth taking for Tim. “I just love helping people. That’s why I’m here,” he said as he directed traffic for a Southeast…

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Rebecca’s Story

  Going without a paycheck for over a month can take a toll. It’s especially hard for Rebecca because she has two grandchildren who depend on her. Before COVID-19 hit the heartland, she worked as a waitress and bartender at a Sikeston restaurant. As the virus spread and the stay-at-home order was issued, the restaurant…

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