WATCH: A panel discussion on food insecurity and gun violence in Missouri

·2 min read

Across Missouri, food insecurity — a lack of consistent access to healthy high-quality food — is one of the public health factors that drive gun violence.

Experts say lack of nutrition can harm an individual’s brain development, reduce their ability to handle stress, and create conditions for conflict and suicide in communities.

St. Louis for most of the past decade has led the state in both food insecurity and gun violence. But it is also a place where a network of urban farmers, local markets, and community leaders are working on solutions.

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

This digital event is part of the Missouri Gun Violence Project, a two-year, statewide journalism collaboration investigating the causes and possible solutions to gun violence. It is supported by the nonprofits Report for America and 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.

This discussion will be moderated by Humera Lodhi, a member of the gun violence reporting team at The Kansas City Star.

Panelists include:

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

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

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

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

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