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Action Alert: Tell Congress to Pass Charitable Tax Incentives

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The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up today a bill that would expand and make permanent three expiring charitable tax incentives, including our food donation tax deduction.  H.R. 644 was introduced Monday by Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) and is expected to move to the floor for a vote the week of February 9.

The same bill failed to pass the House under an expedited process called Suspension of the Rules last December by only a handful of votes. This time House Republicans are planning to bring up the charitable tax bills along with several other tax bills to highlight “Tax Certainty Week.”

This is an important legislative priority, and we urge you all to email or call your Representative this week to urge them to support its passage.

Just dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted. Connect to your Representative, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the food bank you are calling from. Let them know you are calling about the charitable tax legislation and deliver this important message:

As your constituent and supporter of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, I am calling you today to ask you to vote for H.R. 644, charitable giving tax incentives.  This legislation is critical to ensuring our food bank has the food and the funds needed to continue supporting those in need in our community.

As always thank you for your support. If you have any questions please email Michelle Knight, Advocacy Coordinator, mknight@stlfoodbank.org.

 

 

Scouting for Food

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If you’re like us, then you know that the holiday season signals a time of giving back to the community and helping those who are less fortunate. There are numerous ways to help the needy in our communities but one of the easiest ways is to donate to the Boy Scouts’ annual Scouting For Food drive.

 

Scouting For Food is the largest one-day food drive in our region collecting over 2 million items each year. Yes, you read that correctly. Over 2 million canned good items in just ONE DAY! It’s pretty remarkable what we can accomplish when we all chip in.

How to Participate

All residents have to do is fill their blue Scouting For Food bags with canned or non-perishable food items and leave it on their doorstep by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. That’s it! From there, approximately 30,000 Scouts, parents and volunteers collect the bags, box the food and then load it on to trucks for Sunset Transportation to deliver to the Foodbank.

As colder weather sets in, many families are forced to cut their food budget in order to keep their heat on. This creates a greater demand for food assistance. Please help the Boy Scouts meet this need by donating canned or non-perishable food items this Saturday.

 

By Christine Dieckmann

Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

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Scouting for Food 2013

Last year, the St. Louis Area Foodbank estimates that Scouting For Food provided more than 560,000 meals. For some pantries, this kept shelves stocked for weeks and even months.

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Holiday Volunteering

Autumn is often a sentimental time of year as we transition into the holiday season. Minds turn to memories of past special meals and celebrations, time spent with family and friends, and other fun yearly traditions.
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Happily, one fall tradition that many local families value is volunteerism, and giving back to the community. As the Missouri Agency Relations Manager, my job at the Foodbank is to serve as the connection between our organization and the food pantries, soup kitchens and residential facilities in the community that distribute the product that they receive from our warehouse. During the holiday season, I receive a multitude of requests on a weekly basis from service-minded individuals looking for their chance to lend a hand at one of the Foodbank’s agencies. The abundance of giving from the community is heartwarming, and I am pleased to steer them in the direction of a fun service opportunity.

Lend a hand at an agency in your neighborhood

One great way to give back is to volunteer at a pantry or soup kitchen in your area in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. During this time, much of the vital prep work is being put in to build holiday baskets, and facilitate the other holiday distributions that make this time of year so special for clients. In order to make access to these sites easy our website has a list of all partner agencies, which can be sorted by zip code. Those interested in volunteering in this way are welcome to reach out to agencies in their area in order to keep their impact close to home. Find an agency near you.

Volunteer to serve Thanksgiving Dinner

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A compelling way to really get into the holiday spirit is serving a Thanksgiving meal at one of our local soup kitchens. The St. Louis Dream Center is hosting a Thanksgiving meal for its clients on Thursday, November 27th. The agency has requested volunteer assistance from 11-2 that day. For more information, or to sign up, please call 314-381-0700.

As the leaves change and the air becomes crisp, we are reminded of the many holiday seasons past, and anticipate the fun times yet to come. Lending time to one of our local agencies is a sure way to make this season merry and bright for not only your family, but also for our neighbors in need.

By Sara Lewis

MO Agency Relations Manager

Eat Healthier and Feed Hungry Families

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There’s one easy way to help your family, friends and colleagues make healthier food choices and also help St. Louis Area Foodbank end hunger here in our community.

We are proud to announce that we have partnered with a mobile app company called foodtweeks™, whose mission is to help millions of people be happier with their food while also helping to feed millions of hungry families across the country.  Your better food choices could result in food for people in our service area.

By following these two simple steps, you can support St. Louis Area Foodbank for free.

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Step 1: Download the free app on your Android or iPhone.

Step 2: Create a free account in the app and enter the promo code STLFOODBANK

That’s it! Now every time you tweek calories out of a food you are thinking of eating, buying or cooking, foodtweeks™ will donate twice as many calories to St. Louis Area Foodbank, helping us end hunger right here in our community.

You can learn more by visiting our foodtweeks™ partner page here: http://www.foodtweeks.com/fb/St.LouisArea/

 

 

 

 

Surviving The Summer: Accessing Meals When School Is Not In Session

The end of the school year is a time when most children rejoice.

For them, summertime means no homework and long days of playing outside with friends.

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However, for the millions of children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school, summer means new worries.

When they can’t rely on a meal at school, these children – and their parents – are forced to worry where and how they will get their next meal.

That’s why summer feeding programs are so vital.

But in 2012, only one in seven kids who ate a free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch during the school year also participated in a summer meal program.

That means of the 21 million kids who are eligible, only 3 million of them are receiving meals in the summer. Read more

#SolveSeniorHunger

Every year since 1963, May has been designated by the National Council of Senior Citizens as the month for the United States to appreciate and celebrate older adults and their contributions to our communities.

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Feeding America food banks like the St. Louis Area Foodbank participate in the movement by raising awareness and showing support for the 4.8 million seniors facing hunger in our country.

You can do your part to help increase awareness for the issue of senior hunger by joining our social media campaign #SolveSeniorHunger. Read more

Got Milk? Help Those Who Don’t

While we may live in the land of plenty, more than one in five children in America does not know where their next meal will come from.

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This “food insecurity” often goes hand-in-hand with childhood obesity. Disrupted meal patterns, stressful home situations, and an overall lack of access to nutritious foods contribute to both epidemics.

When kids aren’t well-nourished, they are much more likely to experience health and developmental issues, and struggle with poor academic performance and behavioral problems. Read more

Face of the Foodbank

Today, on Administrative Professionals Day, we celebrate Susan Jenkins.

Technically, Susan’s title at the St. Louis Area Foodbank is “customer service representative.”

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But in reality, we think of her more as the “Face of the Foodbank.”

That’s because Susan is the first person our agency volunteers and staff see when they come in to pick up food.

About half of our 512 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and feeding programs come to the Foodbank to pick up the food they give out to families in need. Read more