January 2017 | St. Louis Area Foodbank

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Signing-On for Strong Policy

2017 brings with it enormous change to the political landscape, from a new president and Congress to new state and local leadership. While so much change can feel disruptive and unpredictable, it also opens up abundant opportunities for advocacy on behalf of the people we serve and the causes we stand behind. That’s why the Foodbank is busy at work, forging relationships with our new leadership and supporting the anti-hunger programs – like SNAP, CSFP, and TEFAP – upon which so many Americans rely.

This month we have already signed on to a letter directed to Illinois’ leadership, joining over 120 of our partners within and beyond our service area to support the programs and legislation we know effectively fight hunger across the country.

As a signee of this letter, we are specifically asking Illinois’ 2 senators and 18 representatives to strengthen federal nutrition programs and protect them against cuts. We are also offering our help in addressing hunger statewide and across the nation.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank has signed this letter because we know the programs it defends work – assisting families struggling to put food on the table, promoting health, helping kids succeed in school, supporting farmers, and boosting local economies.

We have also signed because we believe making our voice heard and working with our elected officials is an essential way forward in the fight against hunger.

Check out the letter here.

And check back often for more news, updates, and ways to make a difference as a hunger advocate!

Make an Impact: Your Generosity Feeds Hungry People

It’s simple — for every dollar donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, 97 cents go directly toward feeding the hungry. In fact, working with our network of nearly 500 partner agencies in Missouri and Illinois, the Foodbank provides food assistance to 43,000 people each week; more than 2.4 million meals per month.

meal makers

We are grateful for the food donations the Foodbank receives from individuals, corporations, retailers and community food drives. But the reality is that the Foodbank relies on donors like you to maintain our warehouse, keep the shelves stocked with nutritionally balanced foods and transport that food when and where it’s needed.

Like any household, having a reliable revenue stream allows us to plan more effectively and stretch donations even further. As a supporter of the Foodbank, we hope you’ll consider becoming a monthly donor — a Meal Maker. You can choose an amount that fits with your giving budget to have funds automatically withdrawn from your banking account. Prefer regular mail? Just send in a voided check with instructions for the amount of support you’d like to provide each month. Again, funds will automatically be withdrawn from your account. Your financial donations change lives.

It’s easy to sign up online at www.mealmakers.org.

Pantry Spotlight: Pittsburg Food Pantry

The Pittsburg Food Pantry has served the residents of Williamson County in Illinois for nearly 20 years.

Eight years ago, River Church, at the invitation of the Village of Pittsburg, took over the responsibility of the Pantry, and has run it from their location ever since. The Pantry is open the last

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Saturday of every month from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and provides emergency food boxes between distribution days. In addition, it provides blood pressure screenings upon request and helps people fill out requests for SNAP benefits. On average, the Pittsburg Food Pantry feeds 350 people each month.

“We strive to meet any need that we can,” notes the pantry director, Melissa Swayze. “We like to think that our set-up is unique. For example, we load the food for every person that comes in our door; they do not carry it out themselves. We have blood pressure screenings available and can help with just about any situation someone may have. If we cannot help them, we can certainly help get them the information that they may need to find that help.” The Pantry serves people from all types of life situations, including job loss or unexpected expenses that take limited income away from buying food. The organization also has seen an increase in the number of senior citizens coming for food assistance.

A Foodbank partner for the past eight years, Pittsburg Food Pantry receives many types of dry goods, produce, dairy and household items in deliveries twice a month. “These items are greatly important,” says Swayze. “Our Pantry depends heavily on the Foodbank. We would not be able to serve the number of people we do without the Foodbank.”