SIKESTON - Bootheel Food Bank has a new name. The not-for-profit food distribution organization is now known as Southeast Missouri Food Bank.
"It helps describe our service area," said Karen Green, executive director for the Food Bank. The Southeast Missouri Food Bank serves the counties, of Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard and Wayne by providing food to agencies that assist the area population living below the poverty line.
"Within our service area are six of the poorest counties in the state," said Green. "The University of Missouri 2008 Hunger Study reveals that 64,000 people live here in need of food and 35 percent of those are children. We help address the problem through our established hunger relief network of 140-plus agencies that distribute to the poor."
Southeast Missouri Food Bank is a USDA channel for foods provided through, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Also thousands of pounds of food donations flow into Southeast Missouri Food Bank through America's Second Harvest, the national food bank network that helps food banks collectively address hunger in America.
Also Southeast Missouri Food Bank receives strong corporate support from local companies like Proctor and Gamble, Wal-Mart, Burch Food Services, Tyson Foods, and others but is constantly seeking new partners to help feed the need in Southeast Missouri, Green said. The Food Bank accepts various products including foods that can be safely consumed but might otherwise go to a landfill.
"Changing our name is also designed to promote more community involvement," said Green. "If people know who we are and who we help they will naturally want to be involved by donating food, time as a volunteer or money," said Green. "Southeast Missouri Food Bank must have community support to truly succeed in ending hunger in the region."
The food bank has served the Southeast corner of the state of Missouri since 1985. "We serve the food insecure population," said Green. "In laymen's terms we help hungry families, those who are out of work, disabled or just don't have enough income to put sufficient food on the table."