A decade of the Missouri Hunger Atlas

Information for action


  • Steven A. Henness University of Missouri https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4211-5343
  • Bill McKelvey University of Missouri
  • Darren Chapman Social Grove, Inc.
  • Gloria N. Mangoni Pennsylvania State University
  • Mary K. Hendrickson University of Missouri




Hunger, Food Insecurity, Indicator, Need, GIS, Mapping, Performance, Comparison, Food Affordability, Decision Support


For over a decade, researchers at the University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security (ICFS) have produced five editions of the Missouri Hunger Atlas. Through a series of indicator maps and tables, the Atlas engages readers visually to help them understand the extent of local food inse­curity across the state. The Atlas also assesses the performance of public and private programs that help people struggling to obtain sufficient healthy food. In this reflective essay, we discuss the pro­cess of creating the Atlas, the choice of indicators and data acquisition, the evolution of the Atlas over time, and how various groups use the Atlas for policy and action. The Atlas has become a go-to resource for a wide range of users, including policymakers, academics, food bank staff, Exten­sion specialists, and advocates for low-income fam­ilies. The first ten years of the Atlas have demon­strated that measurement is a dynamic process, requiring ongoing adjustments by re­searchers through discourse with data providers, stakeholder groups, and communities. Given the popularity of the Atlas and the availability of com­parable second­ary data for other state and county geographies, replication of this model by other states is feasible.


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Author Biographies

Steven A. Henness, University of Missouri

Ph.D. Student; Rural Sociology, Division of Applied Social Sciences

Bill McKelvey, University of Missouri

Senior Program/Project Coordinator; Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security

Darren Chapman, Social Grove, Inc.

Co-Founder and Researcher

Gloria N. Mangoni, Pennsylvania State University

Ph.D. Student; Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Mary K. Hendrickson, University of Missouri

Associate Professor and Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security



How to Cite

Henness, S., McKelvey, B., Chapman, D., Mangoni, G., & Hendrickson, M. (2022). A decade of the Missouri Hunger Atlas: Information for action. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 12(1), 171–186. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.121.003