Kansas City, Missouri – A prestigious recognition for The Harvesters Community Food Network - the regional food bank has been named the 2011 Food Bank of the year by America's food bank network. Feeding America is made up of some 200 food banks across the country.
In recognizing Harvesters, the president and CEO of Feeding America noted the Kansas City agency has increased it's food distribution by 38% over the recession-plagued last two years. Today, Harvesters says it distributes food in 26 counties in Northswest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The agency says it works with 620 distribution sites, including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and day care centers.
Harvesters Executive Director Karen Haren says the award reflects the many volunteers, food drives, donations, and corporate sponsors who helped Harvesters succeed; "I think it speaks well to the community service spirit, the spirit of caring that we're able - as Harvesters - to provide so much food to feed so many hungry people."
Haren said among the agency's priorities today are getting more food to isolated rural communities. Many rural areas have no access to food pantries; many don't even have a grocery store. Helping children is another challenge. Children make up 40% of the malnourished and hungry in the region, according the Harvesters.