ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The latest report on states providing summer meals to school children shows that Missouri ranks 42nd in the nation.

Related Story: Program to Provide Over 100,000 Meals to Kids This Summer

The study from the Food Research & Action Center is called “Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation.” It notes when school lets out for the summer, millions of low-income children lose access to nutritious meals.

Hunger Task Force Chair for Empower Missouri, Glenn Koenen, found a couple of positive take-aways from the report.

“The good news is we’re seeing some improvements in Missouri in the numbers of kids getting these free meals during the summer,” Koenen says.

He adds in St. Louis, Operation Food Search now has vans going out to areas with high concentrations of low-income children. Of the nearly 400,000 eligible kids across Missouri, just 33,000 received summer meals in 2016.

Koenen says it would help greatly if Missouri schools did a better job of letting parents know where the feeding sites will be before students come home for the summer.

Missouri ranks higher than Kansas and Oklahoma, but lower than all other neighboring states.

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