That sounds like quite a bit of food, yes? Last Friday, when we packed those 13,728 pounds and ultimately provided 11,207 meals for the hungry, it certainly seemed like a lot. But when the St. Louis Area Foodbank distributes more than 25 million pounds of food annually, it pales in comparison. Does that number surprise you as much as it did to the team at G/L? It should.
Since the organization began in 1975, the St. Louis Area Foodbank has seen significant growth. As a member of United Way of Greater St. Louis and Feeding America, they serve more than 500 partner agencies and over 25 counties in the St. Louis Metro East region. In 2006, they moved into their Bridgeton facility, complete with a 94,000 square foot warehouse. More than 90% of donations are spent on food distribution, primarily to pantries. Fuel costs for food distribution continue to roll well into the $200,000s.
While these figures are indeed alarming, their mission statement holds true and remains quite simple: feed hungry people by distributing food through our partner agencies and educate the public about the nature of and solutions to the problems of hunger. Over time, they have implemented multiple programs such as Mobile Markets, Food Fairs and the Commodity Supplement Food Program (CSFP).
Coverage and support of this magnitude is achieved by a selfless staff of just over than 30 and more than 15,000 individuals that volunteer each year. The need continues to exist and whether you’re a group of 2 or 20, there are ways to help.