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PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 

President Trump and Joe Biden square off in their final debate; warnings that "dark days" of the pandemic are yet to come; and food assistance now available for some wildfire victims.

2020Talks - October 23, 2020 

The second and last presidential debate was much more controlled than the first; President Trump keeping to his main themes, calmly rebutted by Biden.

Missourians Skip Meals to Feed the Children

September 6, 2012

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Nearly 16 percent of Missouri families are "food insecure," according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That means they struggle to put food on the table - and in some cases at least one adult in the family skips meals so the others can eat. Christine Woody with the Missouri Association for Social Welfare says she is not surprised.

"We do have a lot of poverty in Missouri, with a lot of families, and not only in the cities - Kansas City and St. Louis - but also in the rural areas."

Nationwide, the USDA report estimates that nearly 18 million American households, or 50 million people, don't have enough money for everyone in their household to eat nutritious food, every day.

Woody estimates that the numbers are probably a lot higher than that, especially among seniors who often don't want to apply for food stamps even when they need them.

"You may not think of your grandmother or grandfather getting food stamps, but the senior citizen population is one population that is really struggling."

Congress is considering cuts to food programs to help balance the budget. But a new poll by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows voters don't think that's a good idea, says the group's president, Jim Weill.

"When asked what they think of Congress cutting billions of dollars from the food stamp program, 75 percent of people said that's the wrong way. Only 10 percent of the people said they strongly favored cutting the program."

Weill points out that half of all American children at some time in their young lives are food stamp recipients. The USDA report says food insecurity rates were substantially higher than the national average for households at or below the federal poverty level, households headed by a single man or woman, and for blacks and Hispanics.

Polling questions are available at The USDA report is at

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MO