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Press Releases Kansas Citians encouraged to donate unexpired baby formula and baby food to Harvesters

37 percent of those receiving emergency food assistance through the Harvesters network are infants or children

Kansas City, Mo. - October 21, 2013 - The number of people needing food assistance is at an all-time high. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year Harvesters distributed 44.7 million pounds of food, a 73 percent increase since 2008. Food is going out their doors as quickly as Harvesters receives it.

During the government shutdown Harvesters did not receive federal reimbursement for its programs in Kansas and Missouri. Thirty-seven percent of those receiving emergency food assistance through the Harvesters' network are infants or children.

"An infant or child needs a solid, nutritional foundation to thrive developmentally and physically," says Karen Cox, RN, PhD, Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer at Children's Mercy. "Every day, our clinical staff sees infants and children whose medical problems are the result of, or made worse by, malnutrition."

To help Harvesters help parents feed their children, Children's Mercy is urging the Kansas City community to donate unexpired baby formula and baby food to Harvesters at one of their various drop-off locations across the Kansas City area.

"Harvesters serves 26 counties in northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, covering 16,441 square miles. We know that one in five children in those 26 counties is at risk of hunger," says Harvesters' President and CEO Valerie Nicholson-Watson. "As a result, we're serving more people than we ever have. Every day we feed working families in Kansas and Missouri. Good nutrition is especially important for infants and children as they grow and develop."

Please donate unexpired baby formula and baby food to Harvesters at one of the food donation barrels located around the city. Find a drop-off location near your home or work by visiting www.harvesters.org/givefood.

About Children's Mercy Hospital

Children's Mercy, located in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 354-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 21, and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals." For the third time in a row, Children's Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to fewer than seven percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of 600 pediatricians and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. For more information about Children's Mercy and its research, visit childrensmercy.org or download our mobile phone app CMH4YOU for all phone types. For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

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