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COVID-19: Food Insecurity

Jenniqual Jai Johnson, Dr. Sheila Powell-Walker, and Erica Williams
Jenniqual Jai Johnson, Dr. Sheila Powell-Walker, and Erica Williams

Food insecurity has long been a problem facing people across the country and for many children, not knowing where their next meal is coming from or only eating food that lacks nutrition devastates their ability to focus, learn, and stay healthy.

More recently in St. Louis black-led efforts like STL Lunch and the Hands Up United Books and Breakfast program have recognized that food access is a racial equity issue and the need that arises especially when school is out of session for summer.

Now with COVID-19 closing schools until the next school year, food insecurity for children has become even more pressing than before. In this episode, we talk to a parent, a school board member, and a community advocate about the struggle to ensure that students in North St. Louis County are educated and fed during the pandemic.

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Jia Lian Yang holds both a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. She is the co-founder of the St. Louis-based Who Raised You? podcast, which explores culture and family with a focus on stories from people of color. The show won the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ 2018 stARTup competition. And this year, St. Louis Magazine’s editors named it the best local podcast.
Lauren Brown holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri where she also studied Social Justice. Lauren joined St. Louis Public Radio in June 2019 as an associate producer for the We Live Here podcast. In March 2020 she became the co-host and producer for We Live Here.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.