UMKC students and JumpStart gather donations for food drive - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

UMKC students and JumpStart gather donations for annual food drive

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

University of Missouri-Kansas City students involved in the JumpStart program gathered Saturday for the annual food drive for Harvesters.

"This year we put down a lot more bags and we are hoping to feed a lot more families," said Aigner Carr, a JumpStart volunteer coordinator.

This is the eighth time JumpStart has dropped empty bags in front of Brookside homes, hoping neighbors will fill them up. JumpStart takes all the food straight to Harvesters.

"There's so many children that go hungry. It's a problem. It's really important that we make an impact and feed these children," Carr said.

This year it might be even more important. On Friday, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - or SNAP - benefits decreased. A family of four will receive $36 less than they did last month.

"That means that the average benefit per meal per person is reduced from about $1.50 to $1.40. If you think about that, $1.40 per meal per person is not very much," said Ellen Feldhausen with Harvesters food bank.

Feldhausen said that likely means those families will rely even more on the food pantries and kitchens that Harvesters stocks.

"The economy has not improved for the low-income families we are serving. Many families needing help are working families, someone has a job or one or two jobs. At some point during the month they need assistance. We're seeing an awful lot of that," she said.

JumpStart volunteer Grace Rector said she's helping because she can.

"It's nice to be able to give. I've been blessed enough to have food on the table, it would be nice to give to people who aren't able to have that," she said.

Volunteers delivered nearly 500 pounds of food to Harvesters and that provides 985 meals.

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