New Missouri Census Data Has Groups Feeding Kids in Poverty

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Census Bureau released new data indicating that nearly 16% of Missourians are living in poverty as of 2011.  Of those residents, more than 300,000 children are living in poverty.

Groups like the Boys and Girls Club and Gift of Hope are trying to make up for these numbers. The Boys and Girls Club of Forsyth, Missouri said it is giving roughly 100 meals a day to children in an after school program.

A program called Gift of Hope is averaging about 750 meals sent home with children each weekend.  This number is an increase from the average of 500 meals a week the program used to give out.

The 300,000 children living in poverty may not be taking advantage of all options. According to the Missouri Association of Social Welfare, some of these after school nutrition programs are not at full capacity.

Missouri's 15.8% poverty rate is close to the national average of 15.9%.