Missouri could soon learn whether it will have to repay the federal government for accidentally inflating the state's food stamp rolls.
State officials acknowledged in December 2009 that a computer programming error led Missouri to over-report the number of food stamp participants to the federal government for six straight years. During that time, Missouri received more than $14 million in federal bonuses because of its high participation rates.
Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley at a press conference in March 2010 about the census. The U.S. Census figures show Missourians from middle age through retirement are accounting for an increased share of the population.
Missouri Census Figures Show Increase in Retirement Age Population
The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest round of population figures last night. They show Missourian's median age is now 37.9. That's up nearly two years from the 36.1 median in 2000. Missouri's retirement-age population of people at least 65 years old grew by more than 10 percent since 2000. And residents 85 years and older grew by 15 percent - though they still account for less than 2 percent of the nearly 6 million people living in Missouri. At the same time, the number of school-aged children between 5 and 14 years old declined over the decade.
“Food deserts” – places without access to fresh produce and other healthy foods – continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.
Here in St. Louis, the Old North Grocery Co-op opened last summer, in an effort to increase healthy food options in an underserved part of the city. It’s the first co-op in Missouri to serve a predominantly low-income neighborhood.
The director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy was in St. Louis recently visiting the Old North co-op and discussing the issue of nutrition.