Incentives For Feeding The Hungry
A bill on the governor's desk may help feed the hungry.
At the Central Missouri Food Bank, volunteers are always busy. Whether it's wrapping food or shipping boxes to local pantries, there's always something to be done.
Central Missouri Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick says there's always a need.
"The food bank serves about 80,000 but there's about 20,000 they aren't even beginning to reach," she said.
Pantries may soon be feeding more thanks to a new tax credit program. The bill, approved by the Missouri Legislature, would allow people who donate money or food (at wholesale value) to food banks to get a tax credit.
So, if someone donated $200 to a food pantry, they would receive a $100 tax credit. The Central Missouri Food Bank won't apply for the tax credit program, but smaller pantries can.
In 2006, the CMFB distributed 3.5 million pounds of food in Boone County alone. One Food Pantry volunteer said that sometimes people don't understand the hunger problem until they see it first hand.
"If they don't know what it's like down here, come down here and spend an hour with us, and we'll show you what it's like when people are hungry and they come down here wanting food," said volunteer Jim Smith.
"Hunger is something you and I and everyone experience daily, and we could end the whole issue of hunger tomorrow if we wanted to, and all it takes is you and I not looking the other way and being involved," said Kirkpatrick.
The bill will soon be under review, and Governor Blunt said he's in support of the idea.
A $20 donation will provide approximate 400 pounds of food which will feed about 100 people for one day.
Central MO Food Bank served an average of 5,653 people per month and provided nearly two million meals.
They distributed more than 1.3 million meals per month.
CMFB has distributed 167, 415,960 pounds of food in 25 years of service
An average of around a hundred families visit the Central Missouri Food Bank Pantry in Columbia every day. If you would like to donate to the Central Missouri Food bank or volunteer, you can find more information on the links and numbers page.