New voucher program offers to take Columbia's children grocery shopping

4 months 1 week 3 hours ago Wednesday, July 12 2017 Jul 12, 2017 Wednesday, July 12, 2017 3:19:00 PM CDT July 12, 2017 in News
By: Kevin Ko, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A new program is offering every child in Columbia a free voucher to buy groceries.

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is giving bags of fruits and vegetables to any child that participates in its free summer lunch program. It is also offering children up to two vouchers that can each be used to buy up to $5.00 worth of produce at participating markets in Columbia. There is no registration and the only requirement to participate or receive any lunches, produce, or vouchers is to be under 18 years old.

Both the bags of produce and vouchers will be given out every Wednesday at noon until August 11. They’re available at any of the five locations that currently participate in the "Summer Food 4 Kids" program, which provides free lunches for children in Columbia. The lunches are available from Monday through Friday at the Central Pantry, Indian Hills Park, Bear Creek Park, Memorial Baptist Church, and Calvary Baptist Church.

Stacey Brown, the Children’s Program Coordinator at The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, said the new program provides both help for families in need and nutritional education for children.

“We’re feeding the kids because school lunches are no longer available and we know that can hit families kind of hard,” Brown said. “But adding these additional items, as far as the produce giveaway and the vouchers, is just a way for us to boost children’s awareness of healthy eating lifestyles."

The voucher program is new, but the effort to educate children about healthy eating has been going on since “A Farm to Table” was created last year. The program consists of interactive classes that teaches children about produce. It also teaches them how to prepare fruits and vegetables. 

“Each week, an instructor spends the lunches with the kids and teaches them about different aspects of farm-to-table living,” Brown said. "Some days, she might be cooking with fresh vegetables with them. Some days she might be planting seeds. Today, she is going to help them with their produce selection when they shop with the vouchers and try things that they’ve never tried before."

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will pay each store for the total costs at the end of the program. The food bank received a $20,000 grant from Conagra Brands Foundation’s Hunger-Free Summer Program.

Brown said the voucher program would not be possible without the grant and the continuation of the program is dependent on finding funding for next year.

"This is the first year we’ve been able to do these additional programs,” Brown said. “So we’re pretty lucky to have that at our disposal this year. We’ll have to see what happens next summer."

Heather Asi is a mother of three children and volunteers for the summer lunch program. She said her church, Prairie Grove Baptist Church, has been helping with the summer lunch program for years, but the new voucher program provides a unique education for nutrition. 

“A lot of times with kids, they just get what their parents are giving them,” Asi said. “They don’t get a lot of choices. For them to have some control over what they’re going to pick out and what they’re getting to eat… It’s just a real-life for them to begin to learn about nutrition and what your body needs."

All Hy-Vee, Gerbes, and Moser’s Foods located in Columbia are participating in the program. The Columbia Farmers Market is also accepting the vouchers.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia police and fire department units responded to reports of an overturned car at Grayson Cottages early Saturday... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 7:53:00 AM CST November 18, 2017 in Continuous News
CAMDENTON - The place a man envisioned as his retreat away from the hustle and bustle of regular life now... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 7:05:00 AM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Shots were fired in downtown Columbia early Saturday morning in an area typically packed with late night celebrants.... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 12:49:00 AM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was hurt in a crash on Stadium Boulevard at the intersections of East Pointe Road and... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 9:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center off Providence Road caught fire Friday night. A division chief said crews... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 8:19:52 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Each of Missouri’s counties are slating new council members for their MU Extension County Council. The councils... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 6:52:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be putting "all available troopers" on the roads over Thanksgiving week. ... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 5:58:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Gloomy weather and a possible chance of rain isn't going to stop one Columbia organization from throwing on... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 4:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - The approval process took several months, but the process of planning a switch to a new sewage treatment... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Hatton-McCredie Elementary’s 5th grade class donated $900 to Central Missouri Honor Flight, in honor of a late... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:51:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Haby Naya grew up in Chad, Africa. She spent lots of her free time braiding hair, anyone’s hair... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:45:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor will not file criminal charges against a Southwest Airlines pilot arrested after... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:41:31 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler met with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Friday to discuss the new tax overhaul known as... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 3:24:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Thursday after a woman said he had sexually assaulted her. According to police,... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 2:42:56 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Housing Development Commission held a meeting with Missouri citizens to share the final decisions for the... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:39:00 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' largest skyscraper is on the market following foreclosure. The vacant 44-story office... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:30:48 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A judge has agreed to once again push back the trial date for a St. Louis-area... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:28:54 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — The driver of a stolen vehicle involved in a crash that killed four people has been... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, November 17 2017 Nov 17, 2017 Friday, November 17, 2017 1:26:19 PM CST November 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
12pm 42°
1pm 44°
2pm 45°
3pm 47°