The Department of Social Services (DSS) will divide $1.5 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund among Missouri’s six regional food banks to help meet the needs of the growing number of Missourians who now rely on food assistance.
The six regional food banks include Ozarks Food Harvest, serving 28 counties, including those in the Lakes Region. Ozarks Food Harvest is set to receive $277,547 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Across the state, the funds will help food banks serve more than 1,000 food pantries, domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other meal sites. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) created the Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to government agencies responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Food banks are coping with an increasing gap between supply and demand that COVID-19 created,’” says Jennifer Tidball, acting director, Department of Social Services. “We know the $1.5 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will help food banks replenish items to feed Missourians who have diminishing resources.”
“This pandemic has hit food banks on multiple levels,” says Scott Baker, state director, Feeding Missouri. “The need for emergency food is surging at the same time we are seeing donations decrease. More food must be purchased, and that increasing demand is forcing prices to skyrocket. This money will help provide millions of meals for Missourians struggling to make ends meet during this unprecedented time.”
The Missouri Services Navigator website has information on over 2,000 programs and services available in the state, including food resources.
Missourians in need of information on food stamp, Medicaid, child care subsidy, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov and use the DSS Virtual Assistant to get immediate answers to basic questions that are not specific to an individual’s case 24 hours a day. They can also call for information or personal assistance 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Missourians can apply for those services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400.