Have you ever needed help providing food for your family? Have you received food from a food pantry? Have you ever used food stamps?
If you answered yes to any of these questions – even if your experience was years ago – we’d love to hear from you. We use these firsthand accounts to help educate the world about hunger in the St. Louis area. Hearing a personal story from a real individual who has struggled to put food on the table can be eye-opening for those who have never experienced it.
These stories help us spread hunger awareness, and encourage donors large and small to keep giving. In addition, your story can help erase the stereotypes that people associate with food pantries and food stamps. Please help us show the world that the folks in the pantry line are real, hard-working people who are doing their best to provide for their families.
It’s easy to share a thought, comment or personal story – your story is a powerful tool in fighting hunger and its root causes.
If you’re not sure what to write about, you could tell us a story about your experience with any of the following issues:
Accessing emergency food
Losing your job in this tough economy
Having trouble making ends meet
Working for wages that don’t support your family
Difficulty with medical bills
Difficulty affording rent
Being hurt by predatory banking, lending or business practices
How you’ve benefited from community food systems like farm-to-school and community garden programs
Difficulty accessing food or services where you live
Living with a disability and waiting for SSI or SSDI benefits
Challenges you’ve encountered as an Oregon or Clark County farmer
A time when cash assistance helped you get back on your feet
How you’ve benefited from SNAP (food stamps), child nutrition programs (WIC, school breakfast and lunch, summer food, etc.) or WIC/senior farmers market coupons
A memorable experience you had as an St. Louis Area Foodbank advocate or volunteer
We do not have to use your full name if we share the story, but we do need to verify the stories. For this purpose, please include in your email or message the following information: full name, city of residence, email or phone number, and name of pantry you used if applicable.
By Bethany Prange Communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank
This past weekend, the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s Young Professionals Board (YPB) partnered with Moulin Events & Meetings on their sixth annual Centennial Beer Festival.
Members of the YPB, along with Foodbank staff, were there to help direct crowd traffic and promote hunger awareness. The event organizer, Jason Arnold, is a former Foodbank Board member and current partner at Moulin and its sister establishments – Vin de Set and PW Pizza.
The festival was a great introduction to events for our newly-formed and growing YPB.
In addition to a minimum contribution from the organizers, they offered a raffle in which attendees could win $500 worth of the more than 200 different festival beers on hand.
Going in, I assumed selling chancesto win beer to folks attending a beer festival wouldn’t be too tough a task. My assumption was right on – we raised more than $2,000 – but I’ll admit I was surprised at how many of the 1,400 attendees already knew about the Foodbank and how many were interested in what we do.
Hundreds stopped by the Foodbank table my wife and I staffed on Saturday and nearly everyone asked about our food supply or added some anecdotal history they had with the Foodbank.
I was also touched that so many took a pass on the raffle and just simply made a contribution to our cause. The teaming with Jason and the Centennial Beer Festival was certainly a success and one that we look forward to growing in years to come.
Everything we do as an organization has a direct goal of providing food to someone in need and this event was no exception. The $2,000 raised will help us bring in nearly $18,000 worth of food to the area.
In addition to the funds raised, this event served another purpose. The YPB has recently launched a “Friends of the Foodbank” initiative to attract those interested in small networking events that engage people in hunger relief.
Our kick-off event for the Friends group will be held at the Foodbank on Thursday, March 6, 2014.