Online map and text number will help families locate local summer food programs

For Immediate Release:

June 1, 2021


Media Contact:

Lisa Cox

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


Online map and text number will help families locate local summer food programs
Free meals are being served to children at hundreds of locations in Missouri


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has been helping families in need during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Through the Summer Food Service Program, thousands of meals have been provided and will continue to be provided all summer. The program is designed to provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks to children living in eligible areas during the summer months and during times of public emergencies, when children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals at school.

An online interactive map is provided to help families in Missouri locate where their children can receive free meals this summer.


Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other locations where children gather when school is not in session. During this time of social distancing, many of the meals are being provided in a non-congregate, drive-through method to ensure the safety of the communities.


The meals are provided to all children that attend the meal service location. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.


Robert Knodell, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “It is a comfort to many families knowing this program is available to their children.”


The map and more information about the Summer Food Service Program can be found at For families without access to the internet, summer meal sites in the area can also be found by texting the phrase “Summer Meals” to 97779.


Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 who have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.


Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at or by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free). Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability can dial 711 or 1-800-735-2966. Community organizations that would like to become sponsors may also email the Summer Food Service Program at or write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102 for more information.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.


Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.


To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination

Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:


(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email:


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.




About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

Keep safety in mind when enjoying summer activities

For Immediate Release:

May 28, 2021


Media Contact:

Lisa Cox

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


Keep safety in mind when enjoying summer activities


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – This Memorial Day, it is important for individuals to remember summer safety while making plans and enjoying everything outdoors that Missouri has to offer. Taking basic safety precautions can prevent a variety of injuries and illnesses, and could even save lives.

Tick and Mosquito Bite Prevention. Ticks and mosquitoes may be small pests, but their bite can have big consequences. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) remains concerned about the prevalence of ticks and mosquitoes throughout Missouri. The following safety precautions will help prevent both established and emerging diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes.

  • Use insect repellent with a minimum 20% DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
  • When possible wear light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Always check yourself, family and friends for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Remove ticks promptly.


Take two minutes to protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes.


Food Safety. Whether you are having a picnic, barbecue or fish fry, some simple food safety steps can prevent foodborne illness from crashing your celebration. The following safety guidelines should be followed:

  • Always wash your hands before preparing foods and after handling raw meats, as well as before and after eating.
  • Keep hot food hot (135°F or above) and cold food cold (41°F or below). Leftovers not kept under temperature control should be discarded if left out over two hours.
  • Cook foods completely. Hamburgers should reach 155°F, fish and pork 145°F and chicken or other poultry 165°F.
  • Avoid cross contamination of foods by keeping them separate and well wrapped.


Find more food safety tips here.


Hot Weather Safety. Every year, Missourians suffer from heat-related illness due to Missouri’s hot and humid summer weather. To avoid potentially deadly heat illness, using air conditioning, at home or in a local cooling center, is the best preventive measure. It is also important to become familiar with the following terms used to identify heat hazards:

  • Heat wave: a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
  • Heat index: a number of degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
  • Heat cramps: muscle pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion: typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
  • Heat stroke: a life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may results if the body is not cooled quickly.
  • Sun stroke: another term for heat stroke.


Find more information about heat hazards and prevention methods here.


Water Safety. Missouri has a wealth of recreational water areas from backyard ponds, lakes and streams to multi-million gallon water parks with wave pools and slides. All these recreational water options provide hours of fun, but dangers can lurk in the water. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury worldwide and among Missouri’s children. The majority child drowning fatalities in Missouri occurred in unsupervised children under the age of five.


A drowning can occur quickly and silently in a matter of seconds and young children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Children under the age of one are most likely to drown at home in a bathtub or bucket. Children aged one through five are most likely to drown in a pool. Children aged five and older are most likely to drown in open water such a lake, pond, stream or river. By following the safety tips below you can reduce the risk of drowning this holiday:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
  • Actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children. Avoid distractions.
  • Teach children water safety skills and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Only swim in designated areas, preferably with a lifeguard. Remember lifeguards provide assistance in emergencies and should not be relied on for supervision.
  • Warn children to stay away from drains in pools.
  • Install proper barriers and covers around your pool and spa.
  • Wear life jackets as appropriate. Life jackets should be US Coast Guard certified, the proper size for the individual, and in good condition. Floatation devices are not a substitution for adult supervision.
  • Know CPR and if a child is missing, check the water first.




About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

Mobile Veteran Center coming to PCHD

Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice and the Columbia Vet Center are teaming up to bring help directly to veterans.  The Mobile Vet Center or MVC, a 37-foot-long vehicle, will be in the PCHD parking lot on Thursday, June 24th from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  This partnership makes it an easy way to bring help to veterans who don’t live close to an office where help is readily available.

“We are a rural community that does not have these services available locally, so the Mobile Vet Center being able to visit our community and provide that same level of service to our local veterans is a wonderful to have.” Said Tracy Brookshier, Marketing Coordinator for PCHD.

Veterans can stop at the Mobile Center for information about veteran benefits, free dog tags, counseling for bereavement, marriage or family. As well as Suicide prevention referrals and much more.

Learn more about the Columbia Veteran Center >>>

Download this flyer >>>




COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:
▶️ Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
▶️ Get sick from COVID-19
▶️ Spread COVID-19 to others.
CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Missouri WIC Temporary Benefit Increase

5/13/2021: Bowling Green, MO – The WIC Pike County Health Department is temporarily increasing the Cash Value Benefit for Fruit and Vegetable Purchases (CVB).

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) gave USDA authority to temporarily increase the CVB to $35 per month for eligible women and children during the federally declared COVID-19 public health emergency. Missouri WIC has elected to use this authority from June through September 2021, to provide additional healthy fruits and vegetables for up to 60,000 women and children per month. Standard CVB values range from $9 – $11.

WIC families have the opportunity to shop for nutritious foods at over 600 authorized WIC retailers throughout Missouri and can receive services at any of the 118 local agencies. WIC serves financially eligible women, infants, and children under the age of five. Fathers, stepparents, foster parents, grandparents, and guardians are also encouraged to apply for WIC benefits for any children in the household under the age of five.

Missouri WIC provides quality nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious foods, and referrals to health services. It is also one of the most successful, cost-effective, and important nutrition intervention programs in the country!

Individuals interested in learning about the benefits of WIC may contact the WIC Pike County Health Department at or 573-324-2111.



Updated CDC Guidance on COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Although many members of our communities have received a COVID-19 Vaccine and our current active case counts are low, we still need to be cautious and play it safe to help slow and stop the spread. As the weather starts to warm and we get anxious to socialize outdoors we urge you to continue taking proper steps to keep yourself and family safe. Wash your hands often, stay home when you are sick and if you are fully vaccinated you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.  When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in our community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet,  register for your appointment here.

CDC has updated thier guidance with the following recommendations (for non-healthcare settings).

Everyone should continue to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Stay home if you are sick and consider getting tested if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Unvaccinated people should continue to:

  • Practice Social/Physical distancing and staying 6ft away from others not in your household
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public and especially when social distancing is hard to maintain
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Stay home and isolate yourself from other household members if you are sick with COVID-19
  • Quarantine when you have been in close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Consider getting your COVID-19 Vaccine.

See more CDC guidance here.




J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Resumed – Clinics to be held soon.

CDC and FDA have recommended that use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, effective April 23, 2021. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen. If you received a J&J/Janssen vaccine, here is what you need to know. Read the CDC/FDA statement. You can also learn more from the EAU Fact Sheet here.

For those ineterested, we are scheduling two mass clinics to be held at the Church of the Nazarene, 807 South Court Street, Bowling Green MO 63334. These clinics will be on Tuesday, May 4th 1-6pm & on Wednesday, May 12th 9am-2pm. We have also began offering the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in our office on Wednesday afternoons. All of these appointments are able to be booked online or by calling 573-324-2111.

COVID-19 Vaccines to be offered at PCHD Walk-In Clinic Soon!

Beginning on Wednesday May 5th we will begin offering appointments to receive the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at our office at 1 Healthcare Place, Bowling Green, MO 63334 (behind Walmart). These will be available on Wednesday afternoons by appointment only. You can continue to book your appointments online or by calling our office at 573-324-2111. If you have received your 1st dose already at the Church of the Nazarene you will still receive your 2nd dose at the church. Please be patient with our staff as we work through this transition.

J&J Vaccine being replaced with MODERNA for today’s clinic (4/13/21)

Today’s Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine will be replaced with the MODERNA COVID-19 Vaccine due to CDC planning to pause the administration of the J&J. Those with appointments today will receive the MODERNA vaccine if they wish and will return for a second dose on May 11th.  Please be patient with our staff this morning as we are working swiftly this morning to ensure everyone is notified of this change.


The Food and Drug Administration asked states on Tuesday to temporarily halt using Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after six women in the U.S. developed a rare blood-clotting disorder. “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the FDA said in a joint statement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously.”

Walk-In’s Welcome Tuesday, April 13th

Pike County Health Department will be hosting a Johnson & Johnson (1 dose) COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, April 13th at the Church of the Nazarene at 807 S. Court Street in Bowling Green from 9:30AM – 5:30PM. All Missouri residents 18 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine free of charge. Walk-Ins are welcome while supplies last. Bring your Photo ID and Insurance Cards (Medicare recipients please bring the red, white & blue card) . Learn more and guarantee your spot by making an appointment online at or by calling 573-324-2111.