Blog | St. Louis Area Foodbank

Navigate / search

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

  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

Ingredients

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

½ cup crunchy granola or low fat cereal

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

Directions

  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

Illinois

Zion UCC

414 West Hanover

New Baden, IL 62265

5/25-8/12

Lunch- 11:30-1:00 PM


Madison Mt. Nebo

1634 7th St.

Madison, IL 62060

6/1-7/22

Breakfast- 9:00-10:00

Lunch- 12:00-1:00


Murphysboro SPIN

822 West Industrial Park Rd

Murphysboro, IL 62966

6/6-8/5

Lunch-12:00- 1:00


Sparta IMPACK

612 E. Harrison St.

Sparta, IL 62286

6/13-8/12

Lunch- 11:00-1:00


Murphysboro Youth & Rec

1818 Walnut Street

Murphysboro, IL 62966

6/15-7/29

Lunch-11:00-12:00

Dinner-4:00-5:00

Missouri

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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

  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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

  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.

005

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.

Salsa

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

Directions

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


Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ripe tomato, chopped

1 lime, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

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.

Garden Planning and Preparation

Spring is here, and April showers are quickly becoming May flowers – or vegetables!

farmersmarket

One of the most cost-effective way to get fresh produce in your diet is to grow them right in your backyard. Many vegetables are easy to care for as long as you do the right amount of planning and preparation.

If you don’t have a yard, many plants can be grown in pots on porches, patios, or in window sills. Even having a small herb garden will save you money on delicious flavors for your meals.
Planning your garden can be as simple as deciding which vegetables your family likes and how much space you have to utilize. Preparing your garden will likely consist of clearing garden beds of weeds and rocks, and filling pots with soil.

This blog walks you through a simple way to plan your garden, so you and your family get the best use of it throughout the season. 

Here, you’ll find an infographic that explains the best plants to grow in beds and pots, when to plant and harvest each plant, and which plants grow well together. 

Tips for planning and preparing your garden:

  • Involve your whole family in the planning process. This way, each family member can have a say in what they’d like to grow, and kids will get a better understanding of where food comes from.
  • Write it down! Not only will this make it easy to remember what you want to grow, it will serve as a reminder to get the job done. Use maps and diagrams to help you plan out your space more efficiently.
  • Water your bed before you clean it out. It may seem like a waste to water a bed full of weeds, but unwanted plants are pulled out more easily if the ground is wet. This will also help get the soil ready for new plants.
  • Skip the seeds. Many stores and even farmers markets sell sprouted plants at relatively low costs. By planting young plants instead of seeds, you’ll see results sooner. The cost is generally outweighed by the benefit, especially with plants like tomatoes, peppers or beans that yield more than one harvest throughout the season.

Mini Cooper Test Drive

SSE_2016_Facebook_Image_01

MINI Cooper is partnering with Feeding America during their Test Drive Program.

During the MINI Cooper Test Drive Program, Feeding America receives a $20 donation for every test drive. As a partner food bank, that money will help feed people in our region! Each test drive would mean 80 meals for families in need.

The program runs from April 15 – 24.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to give back to your community, visit  MINI of St. Louis and test out a new MINI Cooper!

MINI of St. Louis

40 Sunnen Dr

Maplewood, MO

63143 

Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month, and our Registered Dietitian has several reasons for you to celebrate.

Garlic is very versatile, which makes it an easy and inexpensive addition to lots of dishes. Garlic is heart healthy because it reduces the risk of heart disease, and it’s antioxidant properties reduce the chance of getting colds and the flu. Additionally, it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium.
Kelly has put together recipes for two different dips that are easy to make, and great with a variety of crackers, vegetables or chips.

Easy Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor; add reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved.


Garlic and Herb Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, minced garlic clove, chopped chives, salt, pepper, dried dill, and lemon juice; serve with veggies, crackers, or chips.

PS: If you’re worried about garlic breath, eating an apple or drinking green tea can help neutralize garlic on your breath!

30,000+ Adults Losing SNAP

abawds-facebook-06


Starting April 1, 2016, more than 30,000 adults will lose food assistance in the form of SNAP. The recent cuts will affect able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). ABAWDs are classified as a person between the ages of 18 and 49 who has no dependents and is not disabled. Food banks and other food assistance charities are estimated to see an influx of people needing food assistance.

 

Additional facts about ABAWDs:

abawds-facebook-04
  • Adults must complete 80 hours of work or training a month. If they fail to meet this requirement, which is roughly 20 hours of work per week, they will lose their SNAP benefits.
  • ABAWDs who don’t meet the requirement can only qualify for three months of assistance in a 36 month period.
  • During the Great Recession states were able to apply for a waiver allowing them to lift the three month minimum and 80-hour work requirement. The waiver was set to expire in December 2015, but allowed states/counties with high unemployment rates to reimplement the waiver again.
  • Last year Missouri passed SB 24 which limits Missouri from applying for the waiver after it expired at the end of 2015. Missouri is refusing to seek the waiver even for their high unemployment areas that could continue to qualify.
  • According to the USDA Missouri currently falls 8th in overall food insecurity (16.8%) and 2nd in very high food insecurity (7.9%).
    abawds-facebook-01

Although this requirement is touted as a work requirement, it is in fact a time requirement. Calling it a work requirement suggests that it encourages people to look for work and provides a training or workfare position to everyone subject to the time limit. This is not the case. Individuals who work up to 20 hours and those looking for work are still terminated after three months and cannot receive benefits for another three years.

Watch this video for more information about those affected by the new cuts 

Food Fair Volunteer Experience

The cold weather at last month’s Food Fair in Sullivan, MO, couldn’t keep volunteers from helping us feed families.

Todd came out with his father-in-law and helped sort and distribute thousands of pounds to their neighbors in need.  Below, he describes how he learned about the opportunity and about his experience in his community. Thanks, Todd, for giving back with us!

“I first learned about the Food Fair a couple of years ago, when I became a board member of Meramec Community Mission. I’ve always wanted to participate and help distribute the food. I know many of our clients personally, and realize many of them can really use this extra distribution. The day of delivery  was very windy & cold but the spirits were warm. All the volunteers were happy to help and It did not seem like work at all. It was a blessing  that we could be there for others in our community that are less fortunate.

IMG_2644
Todd (left) and his father-in-law at the Sullivan, MO Food Fair last month.

 

I can’t say that I ever experienced hunger, but I grew up very modestly. As I child, my brothers and sisters remember receiving pajamas every year from our Grandparents. We were never excited about that rectangle box, but as the years have passed it has become a cherished memory because of the love that wrapped that present. The gift of pajamas really helped my parents provide for our winter needs.”

If you’d like to volunteer your time, visit our website to find opportunities!