Missouri 4-H'ers help reduce food insecurity across the state

To date, the program has provided more than 318,000 servings of pork to food-insecure Missourians.

Aug. 2, 2021

More than 1.1 million Missourians are food insecure. Missouri Farmers Care and Missouri 4-H are working with pork producers, meat processors and now Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H youths to help curb food insecurity in the state.

“I think students might be the best poised to understand the impact of hunger because they can see it firsthand in their classmates,” said Ashley McCarty, director of the Missouri Farmers Care Foundation. “It’s really hard to focus on math when your tummy is rumbling.”

As part of the “Hogs for Hunger” project, youths involved in FFA and 4-H livestock exhibits can donate hogs after show season to help feed families in need.

Tylan Peckman, a University of Missouri assistant extension professor and state 4-H agriculture specialist, is an advisor for Hogs for Hunger, helping connect exhibitors and consumers through the food bank system.

“Hogs for Hunger is a way to elevate a 4-H member’s project experience,” Peckman said. “They’ve hopefully gained an understanding of how to take care of livestock as well as basic animal training. Now, with Hogs for Hunger, students can come full circle to see how these livestock that we raise for food production can be turned into something that can be consumed through the food supply chain in a safe and wholesome manner.”

Donating one pig can feed up to 525 people in need. To date, Missouri pig farmers and partners have donated 611 pigs — provide more than 318,000 servings of pork to food-insecure Missourians.

Read more from MU Extension

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