FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov 9 Conference Empowers Missourians to Address Hunger

October 23, 2019
Contact: Conner Kerrigan, Communications Director
815-263-1261 (cell)
[email protected] 

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)…On Nov. 9th, Empower Missouri will be holding their Annual Conference, entitled Building Blocks for Missouri’s Success, at Hickman High School in Columbia, MO. Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs, Food Research and Action Center in Washington, DC. will serve as the keynote speaker for the conference, which will focus primarily on food security in Missouri. 

“While one in eight Missourians experiences food insecurity, this is not an intractable issue,”” said Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director of Empower Missouri. “Through a combination of research-based public policy and compassionate generosity to our neighbors through local programs, we can all take action to greatly reduce hunger.”

One of the featured workshops at the conference will be presented by Bill McKelvey & Mary Hendrickson, Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and will reveal findings and take away from the 2019 Missouri Hunger Atlas, which visually engages readers to better understand hunger in Missouri through a series of indicator maps and tables. The Atlas details the extent of food insecurity in all 114 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis, and also assesses the performance of a host of public and private programs intended to help people struggling with hunger.

During the closing session, Rep. Crystal Quade of Springfield, Minority Floor Leader, and Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a member of the majority party from Arnold will be panelists. Rep. Quade will talk about the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to her family when she was a child due to the low income of her hard-working waitress mother. Rep. Coleman will talk about her support for an adequate safety net and her own experience of taking the #MOSNAPChallenge and feeding her family of eight on $1.33 per person per meal for a week during September.

You can learn more about Building Blocks for Missouri’s success at the Empower Missouri website


Empower Missouri ( is a statewide not-for-profit advocating for the well-being of Missourians through civic leadership, education, and research. Founded as the Missouri Conference on Charities and Corrections in 1901, Empower Missouri has operated under four names in its 118-year history, but always with a focus on access to basic human needs and basic fairness.

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