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Hot Weather Hydration Tips

As the temperatures get higher, it’s important to stay hydrated.
Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, shares some tips to keep you hydrated and feeling your best throughout the summer.
Hydration Do’s:
  • Eat fresh produce.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat lighter meals.

Hydration Don’ts:

  • Eat processed meals and foods.
  • Drink sugary beverages.
  • Eat greasy or heavy meals.

Bank of America Volunteers

A core group of ten Bank of America employees has volunteered once a quarter at the Foodbank since 2011, with as many as 29 people volunteering overall.

They chose the St. Louis Area  Foodbank because they wanted to volunteer for an effort that they knew would help as many families as possible in the greater St. Louis area. Several of these volunteers are parents or grandparents of Cub and/or Boy Scouts and became familiar with the Foodbank through the annual “Scouting for Food” drive. These volunteers perform repackaging tasks for various items and programs such as senior food boxes, fresh produce and items donated by local grocery stores.


The St. Louis Area Foodbank is grateful for the ongoing commitment of these volunteers, as well as other volunteer groups. They make a real impact on our ability to keep costs down, to stretch our resources further and to benefit clients in need. If you have a group of people interested in volunteering at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, please visit our website. 

Pantry Spotlight: Bread For Life

Bread for Life Food Pantry in Troy, MO, focuses on the needs of families, including children and seniors.

Bread for Life Food Pantry, located in Troy, Mo., has served residents in need from Lincoln County since 2003. It began as a mission of the Greater Troy Ministerial Alliance, who recognized the need for a community food pantry. Today, the pantry operates as an independent nonprofit organization, distributing food to clients every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., except on the last Wednesday of the month, when hours are from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The Salvation Army uses the Bread for Life facility each Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. until noon, assisting clients needing help with housing and utilities.

bread for life

Clients can come to the pantry once each month. Back in 2003, it served approximately 50 families per month. Today, 390 families on average are served each month. In 2015, the pantry worked with a total of 5,563 families; 34 percent of those receiving food are children 18 and younger.

Working Together to Feed More People

Seniors are also a significant focus for the pantry. Bread for Life partners with the Lincoln County Council on Aging (LCCOA) in many ways. Each month, the pantry’s delivery of product from the St. Louis Area Foodbank includes a pallet of produce for LCCOA. Their drivers come to the pantry and take these produce items to the ‘Nutrition Site’. In addition, Bread for Life partners with LCCOA on the ‘Senior Box’ project. Thirty clients per month receive a box of food from the pantry – the boxes are delivered by the Nutrition Site drivers. The thirty recipients are chosen by LCCOA and they are not pantry clients, but are identified as in need of food. The program will expand to 50 boxes within the next six months.

The pantry also shares product with LCCOA on a regular basis. “If we have extra bread or other perishable items that need to be distributed before the next pantry day, LCCOA accepts the product to use in their daily operation,” says Harriet Zuroweste, Bread for Life co-director. “These blended programs have been very helpful to both agencies.”

Building Lives Through Community

For many clients, the Bread for Life Food Pantry provides not only food, but also a sense of community. “We have clients who live alone and have no family in the area,” Zuroweste notes. “First, they may come to the pantry as a client. After a few visits, they begin to know the workers who they see every month. And then it is not unusual for them to ask about volunteering – and they  become a part of the pantry family. We are often told they look forward to Wednesdays and coming to work with familiar faces. The pantry becomes an anchor for them.”

Bread for Life has obtained food from the Foodbank for more than a decade. “When donors ask if we would rather have food donations or cash, we always tell them cash,” says Zuroweste. “Cash donations go a long way in securing produce, canned goods, pizzas, chicken, pasta and all kinds of staples from the Foodbank.”


All for Food Safety and Food Safety for All!

This summer, we’re distributing kits to ensure food safety is a top priority.

In 2014, we received a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to purchase food safety items for our partner pantries. The items distributed included thermal blankets, a thermometer, and bungee cords. All of these items are meant to keep food the correct temperature while in transit from our facility or from our retail grocery store partners.

High Standards for an Important Cause

According to AIB (the American Institute of Baking) and Feeding America standards, these items should be used to safely handle food. We take food safety very seriously and are held to high standards to provide quality food for our community partners.

Food safety kits like these will be distributed to all of our partner agencies by the end of July.


Getting the Job Done

Thanks to a generous donation from the Walmart Foundation, we were able to purchase and distribute these kits to our partner Illinois pantries this year. By the end of July, we will have distributed these kits to all of our partner pantries in Missouri and Illinois. We take these measures to ensure the food we distribute stays in the best condition possible, so it’s ready for a hungry family to take it home.

Summer Vegetables

We have some good tips for how to include vegetables in your diet inexpensively.

Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, explains the importance of eating different types and colors of vegetables. In our most recent video, she explains how the color of a vegetable can indicate which vitamins are in it. She also has some great tips to save you money and keep you healthy by shopping locally.

Members of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs receive a convenient abundance of fresh, local produce and they build a relationship with their local food system.  Many members also appreciate the opportunity to try new types and varieties of vegetables.

If you’re interested in joining a CSA, here are three good recommendations in the area:

Gateway Greening 

Earth Dance 

Fair Shares 

If you’re interested in shopping at farmers markets, you can find a map of St. Louis area markets here.

If you want some tips on home gardening, check out our blog from April that has helpful resources.

Find more recipes and ideas for using vegetables on our website

June is National Dairy Month

Whether you’re enjoying a delicious yogurt parfait or a glass of milk, you’re doing yourself a favor with dairy!

Dairy is a great source of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D – all necessary for strong and healthy bodies. Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together a couple recipes for delicious, dairy-based snacks that are perfect for summer snacks.

We’d also like to thank the Midwest Dairy Council for their partnership in helping us get dairy to families in need.

Fruit Dip


¾ cup part-skim Ricotta cheese

½ cup vanilla low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon orange juice, or half of an orange, juiced

1 tablespoon finely shredded or zested orange peel

Assorted cut-up fresh fruit


  1.       Combine ricotta cheese, yogurt, sugar, orange juice and orange peel in a blender or food processor or mix by hand.
  2.       Blend or mix until smooth.
  3.       If desired, cover and chill up to 24 hours. Serve with assorted fruit like apple, pear, peach and orange slices to dip.

Fruit & Granola Parfait


1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

½ cup crunchy granola or low fat cereal

½ cup fresh fruit, sliced (i.e. strawberries, blueberries, bananas)


  1.       To assemble parfait, begin with spooning half of the yogurt in the bottom of a bowl or tall glass.
  2.       Add 2 tablespoons granola and ½ cup fruit.
  3.       Spoon on the rest of the yogurt.
  4.       Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of granola.

Feeding Kids this Summer

As summer begins, many children will not have enough to eat without school lunch and breakfast programs.

Most kids who receive free or reduced school lunches don’t receive summer meals to make up for those that they lose. One vital way to combat summer hunger is summer feeding sites. This year, we have seven partner summer feeding sites in Missouri and Illinois. These locations provide balanced meals for kids who need food throughout the summer.

We received a $5,000 Summer Meals Program Grant from Share Our Strength and the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign to help provide meals at these sites this summer. We’re grateful for the community support that allows us to feed more kids.

The easiest way to find a summer feeding site nearest you is by texting FOOD to 877 877. Once you text FOOD, you’ll be asked to send your street, city and zip code and will receive the locations and operating hours for sites closest to you. Please share this information with your friends and family to spread the word!

Most sites only require a child to be 18 years old or younger to receive meals, and some provide breakfast or dinner in addition to lunch.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository put together a video of the people who advocated to strengthen the summer feeding program in Illinois.

Partner Summer Feeding Sites


Zion UCC

414 West Hanover

New Baden, IL 62265


Lunch- 11:30-1:00 PM

Madison Mt. Nebo

1634 7th St.

Madison, IL 62060


Breakfast- 9:00-10:00

Lunch- 12:00-1:00

Murphysboro SPIN

822 West Industrial Park Rd

Murphysboro, IL 62966


Lunch-12:00- 1:00


612 E. Harrison St.

Sparta, IL 62286


Lunch- 11:00-1:00

Murphysboro Youth & Rec

1818 Walnut Street

Murphysboro, IL 62966





Trinity Church

3515 Shackelford

Florissant,MO  63031

6/8 – 8/9

Lunch: Noon – 1p.m.

God First Church

12025 Raymond Ave

Spanish Lake, MO 63138

6/8 – 8/9

Lunch: Noon – 1 p.m.

BBQ Tips

As the weather warms up, barbecues are a tasty way to enjoy the outdoors, time with friends and family, and great food.

Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, demonstrates some fresh ideas to keep your cookout delicious and healthy. Try the recipes for a delicious marinade or grilled mushrooms and let us know what you think!

Grilled Mushrooms in Foil Packets


1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and ground pepper to taste


  1. Cut four 12-by-12-inch squares of heavy aluminum foil, or eight squares of regular aluminum foil (stack two sheets each of the lighter foil to make four squares).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Use a large spoon to blend the ingredients.
  3. Divide the mushrooms among the four squares. Fold the squares over and crimp the edges together to form well-sealed packets. Place on a hot grill, and grill 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove packets from the grill and carefully open it to check for doneness. The mushrooms should be tender and juicy. Either transfer to plates or bowls (there will be lots of juice), or cut the packets and eat the mushrooms directly from them. Have lots of crusty bread on hand to sop up the juices.


Quick & Easy Grill Marinade


2 tablespoons mustard (Use which ever mustard you prefer, Dijon or Honey are both great choices)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Combine all ingredients together.
  2. Let meat or vegetables marinate for at least 30 minutes. The longer the items marinate, the more time the flavors have to combine.

Find more recipes >>

The Blues Give Back

You may have noticed that the Blues are a pretty popular conversation topic around this town lately.

They’ve been playing some great games in the quest for the Stanley Cup, and this city is definitely behind them all the way.


Not only are the Blues fantastic athletes, they give back to the community in a big way. This March, the Blues hosted a food and funds drive to provide more meals for hungry people in our community. When all was said and done, the food and money collected provided over 9,000 meals!


Whether it’s working with kids, raising money to fight cancer or feeding hungry families, the Blues are dedicated to their city, and that’s why we bleed blue!

blues drive 2

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together two recipes that highlight fresh flavors and ingredients.

Celebrate this Thursday and all through summer with these fresh and flavorful dips. They’re perfect as an appetizer, a snack, or to compliment meals.


3 cups chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Stir the tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Serve.


2 ripe avocados

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ripe tomato, chopped

1 lime, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste


Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, and lime juice. Season with  salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Tip: You can use homemade or store bought salsa in place of the onion and tomato.