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A roundtable on food insecurity and gun violence in Missouri


Across Missouri, food insecurity – a constant lack of access to safe, high-quality food – is one of the public health factors behind gun violence.

Experts say a lack of nutrition can adversely affect an individual’s brain development, reduce their ability to deal with stress, and create conditions for conflict and suicide in communities.

For most of the past decade, Saint-Louis has been the state leader in food insecurity and gun violence. But it’s also a place where a network of urban farmers, local markets and community leaders work on solutions.

Join American Public Square at Jewell and The Kansas City Star on June 30 at 12:30 p.m. for the next program in our Gun Violence in Missouri series: Seeking Solutions. Our discussion will focus on how improving access to nutritious foods supports the public health approach to gun violence prevention, thereby improving outcomes for communities in Missouri.

This digital event is part of the Missouri Gun Violence Project, a two-year statewide journalistic collaboration that investigates the causes and possible solutions to gun violence. It is supported by the nonprofit organizations Report for America and the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Star has partnered on this project with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Springfield News-Leader and the Missouri Independent.

RSVP for the event here.

This discussion will be moderated by Humera Lodhi, a member of the Kansas City Star Gun Violence Reporting Team.

Panelists include:

Tosha Phonix, director of food justice for EVOLVE (Elevating Voices of Leaders Vying for Equity) in St. Louis

Dr Keneeshia N. Williams, MD, assistant professor of surgery, trauma, and surgical intensive care at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta; Department of Surgery, Emory University Faculty of Medicine

Nick speed, founder and president of Ujima, a training and environmental stewardship organization in St. Louis aimed at creating equitable access to food, employment and education

Dr Fredrick Echols, Director of the City of St. Louis Health Department



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