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Lion Co-op Projects

Learn more about Projects the Lion Co-op is involved in


Groceries to Graduate

Missouri Southern State University, the Lion Co-op has received grant funding for a new scholarship program:  Groceries to Graduate. This scholarship was developed in partnership with the Webb City Farmers Market. Over the course of the fall semester, scholarship recipients receive $320 in tokens that can be redeemed for groceries at the Webb City Farmers’ Market. Tokens will be distributed three times over the course of the semester through the Bursars’ Office in Hearnes Hall. Recipients will be asked to complete a short survey when they pick up their tokens. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Professors Megan Bever (, Amber Carr (, or Andrea Cullers (, who serve as faculty advisors for the Co-op.

For more information on the Lion Co-op, which was established at MSSU in Fall 2018 to serve as an experiential classroom where students learn strategies to combat food insecurity on college campuses and in their communities, please visit our home page. For more information about the Webb City Farmers Market’s vendors, location, and hours of operation, see:


SNAP Sign-up

The objective of this project is to increase Missouri Southern State University student awareness in SNAP and to increase enrollment in the program by working with MU Extension Agents that visit campus. The Lion Co-op is working with Financial Aid to raise awareness that college students can participate in SNAP and enrollment. Students that are interested in SNAP will be able to meet with an MU Extension Specialist to understand eligibility criteria and what documentation is needed. It is estimated that 18% of MSSU students are eligible for SNAP. Current Eligibility requirements for college students to enroll in SNAP are 1) part-time student, 2) eligible for work study 3) 0 family financial contribution. Contact the Lion Co-op for more information,

SNAP Statewide Research Project

MSSU is a partner in a state wide project that has the objectives to: 1) assess food insecurity in college students among multiple types of higher education institutions; 2) assess students’ knowledge of SNAP, including how to access and enroll in the program; 3) identify their nutrition and health behaviors and preferences; and 4) identify and better understand their barriers to and facilitators for SNAP access, including issues related to food security caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These objectives will be assessed via online survey and focus groups. The survey will be disseminated to 1000 students from a variety of higher education institutions (e.g. public vs. private school, universities, community colleges, technical schools) across the state in order to compare college food insecurity and barriers to and facilitators for SNAP by institution type, using an ecological perspective to examine multiple levels of influence on food insecurity. Four focus groups will be conducted online to further explore barriers to and facilitators for SNAP participation and potential strategies to improve students’ enrollment in this program, with attention to multiple levels of influence in the college environment. In pursuit of these objectives, the Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) will bring together its partners to better understand this issue statewide. The information gained in this project will be disseminated to Missouri Extension Nutrition Program Associates (NPAs) and other MOCAN partners across the state who provide nutrition education and enroll Missourians into SNAP. By providing the NPAs with information about the colleges and universities in their county they will be better equipped to serve college students. Online webinars and a toolkit will be developed to further disseminate findings to state and national audiences. For more information contact Dr. Andrea Cullers,

No Kid Hungry - Lion Cub Academy Weekend Snack Bags

The primary objective of the program being proposed is to provide children age 1-5, that are on state or tribal financial aid, with nutritious food to eat over the weekend when food availability may be limited. The Lion Cub Academy (LCA) is a licensed child care center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University (MSSU). The center currently serves 105 children, age 1-5 years, 24 of whom are receiving financial assistance to attend from the state of Missouri and 15 of whom are receiving aid from the Nine Tribes of Oklahoma. The Lion Cub Academy provides children with breakfast, lunch and 1-2 snacks during the week. Funding from No Kid Hungry is being used to purchase food that will be sent home with eligible children each Friday. Perishable food items will be purchased in bulk and fresh fruit will be purchased weekly. One of the Lion Co-op directors is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with meal planning experience. She will create a 3-week rotating menu of meals and snacks. The children participating will range from age 1-5 years, feeding abilities will be taken into consideration. Food will be stored in a designated area of the Lion Co-op. A student intern will package the food items and the bags will be delivered to Lion Cub Academy on Friday mornings. The Snack Packs will be placed in the child’s cubby to be taken home. For more information about this program contact Dr. Andrea Cullers, or Nikki Tappana,