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Missouri 4-H'ers across the state are asking for donors to give a hand in the final weeks of the 4-H Feeding Missouri food drive, which ends April 30.

To help reach its 2021 goal, Missouri 4-H asks Missourians to donate at FeedingMissouri.org/4H or text "4HFM2021" to 44-321 to donate.

"Every $1 donated buys 10 meals for a family," said Lupita Fabregas, director of the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. "If everyone gave just $5, that would be the helping hand we need to double the amount we have collected so far to serve hungry Missourians."

Even with in-person food drives, fundraising and other activities curtailed because of the COVID pandemic, 4-H members across the state have raised the equivalent of more than 88,000 meals, Fabergas said.

Officials with 4-H said one in six children in Missouri struggle with hunger. With job losses and reduced hours related to COVID-19 restrictions, the need for food assistance has grown as local food banks report spending 300 percent more trying to keep pace with the growing demand.

Feeding Missouri is a coalition of the state's six major food banks that provides hunger relief through a network of more than 1,600 community-based food programs in every county and the city of St. Louis.

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