MISSOURI — Child hunger is shockingly prevalent in Missouri, despite farmers and producers in the Show-Me State producing millions of tons of homegrown food each and every year.

KMZU’s Brian Lock talked with Ashley McCarty, Executive Director of Missouri Farmers Care, whose organization is teaming up with agriculture industry leaders for a months-long food drive to help ensure kids don’t go hungry in Missouri any more.

Click below to hear their conversation, which aired Thursday on KMZU.

Up to one in three children in Missouri go hungry every day, according to data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap. Tangibly, that is up to 240,000 children who may not know where their next meal will come from in Missouri daily.

The focus of the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids is “Kids Feeding Kids,” with FFA members, 4-Hers and other students getting involved in this year’s food drive, which will culminate at the final concert at this year’s Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Missouri Farmers Care, in association with agribusiness and Missouri FFA, packed more than 100,000 meals at the 2018 Missouri State Fair, a number McCarty hopes is topped in 2019.

“These students spent their last day of summer last year packing meals for kids to have,” McCarty said. “We look forward to matching or exceeding last year’s goal of 100,000 meals.”

It is easy to get involved with the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids, and there are plenty of ways to contribute.

Monetary donations are accepted by texting ‘Drive2’ to ‘44321’ or by visiting the Missouri Farmers Care website.

In addition, on Tuesday, August 13, fair goers who bring a minimum of two canned food items will be admitted to the fairgrounds for a discounted price of $2.