Kansas City, Mo. – As many as 728,000 Missourians took help from emergency food banks last year. That's according to a survey by Feeding America and the Missouri Food Bank Association, which is made up of six major organizations, including Harvesters in the Kansas City area.
Scott Baker, director of the umbrella group, says he thinks a lot of people will be surprised by the data.
"When you're talking about one in eight Missourians, that's a significant number," he says. "We're talking about your neighbors."
He says people being helped don't fit the stereotypes.
"Nearly half of those who need emergency food assistance have at least one working adult in the house," he says. "A lot of these folks are workers, they're people who are trying to make ends meet. They're just not able to do it."
Children younger than 18 comprise 39 percent of members of households receiving aid, according to Baker. There is no way to compare the figures against recent history because, says Baker, because this is a first of its kind study for Missouri.