Some southeast Mo. lawmakers call on governor’s help with food supply shortage

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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SOUTHEAST Mo. (KFVS) - Representative Don Rone and some other southeast Missouri lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Mike Parson.

The letter calls on the governor to take action as more schools struggle to get the supplies they need to feed their students.

We are standing up for our school children to get them fed at school!

Posted by Don Rone, State Representative, Dist. 149 on Tuesday, September 28, 2021

“We cannot let our children go without a nourishment of breakfast and lunch,” Rep. Rone said.

He said he is worried about the food supply shortage impacting schoolchildren in the Bootheel counties he represents.

“We are in a very poverty part of the state and if we don’t stand up for these kids, they won’t get their nutrition for the day,” Rone said.

That’s why Rone sent the letter to Governor Parson, co-signed by four of his fellow Heartland lawmakers.

“So, we decided to ask the governor to send the National Guard to deliver the food to our schools so these students can have a breakfast and lunch because most of the times that’s the only meals that they get during the day,” Rone said.

In the letter, Rone points out the food supplier for the New Madrid County R-1 School District stopped deliveries to the Bootheel due to the pandemic and a shortage of workers.

New Madrid County Superintendent Dr. Sam Duncan said he’s been in constant contact with that supply company.

“They let us know that we may have a crisis coming and throughout all of this they’ve bent over backwards to make sure that our kids had high quality meals breakfast and lunch every single day and they’ve come through for us,” said Duncan.

“We have students who some of them look forward to these meals every day because it is important to them to eat at school,” he continued.

Rep. Rone asked Governor Parson to use the National Guard to get those needed supplies to schools across southeast Missouri.

“Hopefully, the governor will in turn say, ‘okay, if you can’t deliver it, we’ll send Guardsmen over there to bring the food and deliver it to the schools in the Bootheel,’” said Rone.

Representative Rone said he expects to hear back from Governor Parson soon.

He said he’s also reaching out to different food suppliers to see what they have available.

We reached out to Governor Parson’s office regarding Representative Rone’s letter. His communications director, Kelli Jones, said to her understanding, the staffing issues that National Guard members could potentially address are with the food distribution companies.

She said the Guard cannot work in private businesses such as these, but if any further information becomes available, she will let us know.

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