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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.

milk

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

Local Whole Foods Markets Help Feed 160,000 More

Before she took a job at Whole Foods Market in August 2012, Lisa Frumhoff struggled to make ends meet as a self-employed real estate agent.

In 2009, the Mizzou grad and University City native found herself in need of food assistance.

“Jewish Family & Children Services was there to help me through those times,” Frumhoff said. “The food pantry at JFCS was always packed back then with all kinds of people.  I was delighted to find out last week that the St. Louis Area Foodbank provides food to JFCS.”

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Now, in her role as a customer service team member and personal shopper at Whole Foods Market – Galleria in Brentwood, Frumhoff found herself in a position to help others in need.

During the Whole Foods Market’s “Feed 4 More” program, Frumhoff joined cashiers from across the Midwest in asking customers if they’d like to donate to local hunger relief efforts.

By the time Feed 4 More ended in December, Frumhoff had collected more donations from customers than any other cashier in the 45 stores in the Midwest Region.

She alone raised a whopping $7,003 for the St. Louis Area Foodbank!

The two local Whole Foods Market locations – Galleria and Town & Country – raised a total of $40,331.59 for the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

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Since the Foodbank can provide four meals with every dollar donated to the organization, the “Feed 4 More” program helped provide more than 160,000 meals for hungry families in our region.

The Midwest region overall raised an amazing $650,000 for hunger relief charities.

Frumhoff and Whole Foods Market representatives visited the St. Louis Area Foodbank on January 16. After their tour, Frumhoff said seeing the fruits of her labor was “truly one of my top five magical moments.”

“For the first time since our fundraising efforts, I truly got the impact of my efforts, the impact of our efforts, and all the generous customers,” Frumhoff said.

In November and December, Frumhoff and her counterparts across the region asked each customer if they’d like to donate to local hunger relief.

“I’d say ‘we’re raising money for the St. Louis food bank and every $5 feeds a family of four for the day,’” Frumhoff said.

Whole Foods Market reps say their customers were incredibly receptive.

“I feel blessed to have been in a position to make such a difference, just by asking people and giving them the choice,” Frumhoff said. “I asked at least 95% of the people who came through my line.”

Frumhoff says that the Feed 4 More program has made her realize the value of fundraising for a good cause.

“I’ve discovered my passion for fundraising and helping feed the hungry,” Frumhoff says.

She set a personal goal to raise $7,000. In the end, she surpassed her goal by $3.

“When I was fundraising for the last two months, I often shared my story of using the food pantries, myself,” Frumhoff said. “My desire to raise as much as possible came from a deep desire to have healthier food offered in food pantries. I know it costs more, because I spend any money I can, leftover from bills, to pay more for healthier food.”

Frumhoff has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in computer science from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She says her education and career history make it easy for her to relate to the thousands of individuals who work hard, but still have trouble providing food for their families.

After touring the Foodbank and seeing firsthand the volume of food we distribute, Frumhoff said, “down to my bones, I’ve been profoundly moved, touched and inspired.”

Thanks to Frumhoff and all the team members at the Whole Foods Market – Galleria location, they raised the fourth most funds among all the participating stores in the Midwest region during the Feed 4 More campaign.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank is grateful to Frumhoff and all the staff and customers at both our local Whole Foods Markets for their dedication to hunger relief.


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By Bethany Prange

Communications Coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

 

Gobbling Up the Holiday Spirit

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For most of us, a plump and delicious Thanksgiving turkey is a given on the fourth Thursday in November.

But for so many, there is no guarantee they will have any meal at all, let alone a special one.

That’s why we are so very grateful to the students of Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School.

For 10 years, the students, parents, teachers and staff of MICDS have held a Turkey Train.

The students bring in dozens of frozen turkeys, and pass the birds down a huge line, hand-over-hand, to fill a St. Louis Area Foodbank truck.

It’s a pretty amazing sight – hundreds of kids braving the cold November weather to pass along this mainstay of holiday meals. Check out a video of the Turkey Train: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtzB0ll6BSs&feature=youtu.be

This year, the MICDS family donated 8,165 pounds of turkey and 2,200 pounds of non-perishable food items to the Foodbank.

These kids guaranteed 8,461 meals for families in need in our community. If that isn’t something to be thankful for, we’re not sure what is.

The turkeys are already on their way out to our food pantries, where families in need can pick them up in time for Thanksgiving.

Watch more video coverage of the 2013 Turkey Train: http://fox2now.com/2013/11/25/micds-students-participate-in-turkey-train/

Click here to check out our Facebook photo album with pictures from the day’s events.

By Bethany Prange

Communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

By Ryan Farmer

Communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

Atta Boy Scouts!

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Thanks to your hard work – and the overwhelming generosity of St. Louis city and county residents – we brought in a HUGE amount of food in the 2013 Scouting for Food drive!

So far, the St. Louis Area Foodbank has collected 688,126 pounds of food since the scouts starting pick up food on Nov. 16, 2013. That’s a whopping 55,111 more pounds than last year, and we’re still counting! Additional donations will be either picked up and/or delivered over the next week or two, so our grand total will be even higher!

Across the bi-state region, the results were just as astounding! According to the Post-Dispatch, “more than 2.1 million food items were collected by participants in the annual Scouting for Food drive in the St. Louis area and parts of southern Illinois and southeast Missouri.”

“It was the most collected since 2008, when 2.2 million items were gathered, said Christine Dieckmann, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts of America’s Greater St. Louis Area Council.”

Read more of the Post-Dispatch article

Regions Bank locations in the St. Louis area will be accepting any additional donations through the end of this week.

A tremendous thank you to the boy scouts of the Greater St. Louis Area Council for their hard work, and to the generous folks who put donated food out on their porches!

By Bethany Prange

Communications coordinator for the St. Louis Area Foodbank

Surpassing Goals and Helping Our Community

This guest post is by Tracy A. Barfield, PAS, Novus Global Marketing Communications Executive Manager

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I like to help and I believe in giving back. As a result I get roped into committees, like the Food Drive Committee. And, because I simply can’t help myself I start saying things like, “What was last year’s goal?” “Why can’t we beat that?” and getting all pushy and driving to topics like employee engagement and participation in helping our community and keeping it in line with our vision at Novus.  And if you are looking for ways to get past “giving fatigue” and meet your goals with a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) event I have some ideas for you.

Keep it inclusive and invite committee members from all parts of your organization. We have great success when we get representatives from Accounting, Marketing, Legal, Research, Operations, etc. all working cross functionally together and more creative ideas are generated by getting folks out of their daily roles.

Set a realistic goal. Lofty objectives beyond the capabilities of your giving base actually serve as a disincentive potential volunteers and givers. We took our total goal and broke it down in $20 increments for giving suggestions. Our total goal for the 2013 Food Drive was $4,000 from employee giving.

Make it personal. We chose the St. Louis Area Foodbank because of all the good it does in our local area. The St. Louis Area Foodbank began serving the community in 1975. It has grown into the bi-state region’s largest nonprofit 501c3 food distributions center dedicated to feeding those in need.

Independence from Summer Hunger- The St. Louis Area Foodbank had recently reported that 148,730 children in the local bi-state region were at risk of summer hunger due to the lack of subsidized school meals during the months of summer vacation. The Novus Food Drive Committee took that message to heart and focused the entire theme of our giving efforts on “Independence from Summer Hunger.”

Thinking Globally/ Acting Locally —Statement of Opinion/Solution—
We’re fortunate to work for a company that has a well-defined vision To help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life. The Food Drive ties directly to our global thinking, while enabling us to act locally to help the communities where we are headquartered.

From June 25th through July 9th Novus International headquarters employees gave over $4,000 in monetary contributions and 69 lbs. of food donations surpassing our goal. That translated to 37,444 for the bi-state region, when the Novus match was added in to total $10,000 donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

It’s simple, really. –For more ways to help out the St. Louis Area Foodbank check out www.STLFoodbank.org and start a food drive or fundraiser of your own. The focused contribution of a workforce together can make a world of difference on hunger in our community. I love that we surpassed our goal, and would love to hear stories from other organizations on how they help too.

By Tracy Barfield, PAS, Novus Global Marketing Communications Executive Manager

http://www.novusint.com/

Stamping Out Hunger St. Louis Style

Diet chocolate fudge soda in a can.

Pickled quail eggs in a jar.

Sliced kiwi in a can.

Volunteering at a massive one-day food drive like Stamp Out Hunger is a sure-fire way to discover food items you may not have known existed!

Sure, we get lots and lots of pantry staples like canned veggies, macaroni and cheese, and soup. And we’re certainly grateful for every single item that is donated by our generous community.

But it’s the unusual items that delight and entertain our volunteers as they sort the food at each post office.

At the South County Post Office, volunteers were touched by the St. Louis County resident who donated a jar of spaghetti sauce neatly taped to a coordinating box of pasta.

In Kirkwood, volunteers at the post office were charmed by handwritten thank yous to letter carriers stapled to the bags of food.

Stamp Out hunger Logo

Stamp Out Hunger is an annual event that takes place across the nation on the second Saturday in May.

Here in St. Louis, this drive mobilizes not just letter carriers and post office staff, but also St. Louis Area Foodbank employees, pantry staff, community volunteers, high school students and local businesses.

Weeks before the drive, volunteers at the Foodbank neatly folded the plastic bags and attached them to the Stamp Out Hunger reminder cards. From there, we relied on the hard work of letter carriers to deliver them.

With all of our collective efforts, we collected 232,842 pounds of food last Saturday, and there’s still more food rolling in!

With the support of the generous residents of St. Louis city and county, the Foodbank has received 10,000 more pounds than we did from the 2012 drive!

Thanks to all who helped make this drive a success!

Check out photos on our Facebook page. 

 

Bethany Prange
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

 

Casey Milton
Casey Milton is the product sourcing coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

 

Rock Out To Knock Out Hunger Food Drive

Rock Out To Knock Out Hunger

Songs about mama, pick-up trucks and wild nights on the town.

Those may just be your first references when someone mentions country music.

And yeah, there are plenty of those songs playing in regular rotation on local country stations WIL 92.3 and 93.7 The Bull.

But one other common denominator for country music artists – and musicians in general – is an overwhelming sense of responsibility to the community and the world.

Once again this year, country music artists – and artists from other genres too – are helping the St. Louis community by raising food and funds for families in need.

With the help of Live Nation St. Louis, the St. Louis Area Foodbank will be at each of the following concerts for a program called Rock Out to Knock Out Hunger.

At each concert, fans who donate to the St. Louis Area Foodbank will have the chance to win great prizes, including meet and greet passes with the artist, ticket upgrades and memorabilia.

For every $5 donation or donation of five canned goods, fans get one chance in the drawing for one of those awesome prizes.

Upcoming Shows

May 9 Brad Paisley
May 23 Tim McGraw
June 7 The Zac Brown Band
June 14 Luke Bryan
June 27 Kenny Chesney
July 27 Blake Shelton
August 16 Rascal Flatts
August 23 Keith Urban
September 6 Miranda Lambert
September 20 Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan Concert Winners
Tim McGraw Concert Winners

 

Zac Brown Band Concert Winners

 

Foodbank Team

So take a few extra minutes and pick up some canned goods or extra cash. Drop it by the Foodbank table outside the gates at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater just before the concert.

See us at the following concerts. We’ll update here when we confirm other concerts!

 

Bethany Prange
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

 

Bikers for Backpacks – Braving the Storm for Kids in Need

As I woke up on Saturday, April 27, 2013, the first thing I did was check outside to see what Mother Nature had given us to work with…

If you remember last Saturday, you’ll understand why I was a little saddened by the gloomy rain.

But then I remembered that the biker community is all about helping children and our veterans. I knew right away that even rainy weather wouldn’t stop the 2nd Annual Bikers for Backs from being a day of sharing and giving back.

I felt moved and blessed as I watched people ride through the rainy parking lot at Shirley’s that morning. While all but one person – John Snyder – left their bikes at home and chose to drive cars due to the rain, each person still carried a colorful backpack filled with kid-friendly food.

At our first stop alone, we collected roughly 50 backpacks and other bags of food. We also sold about 25 t-shirts before we headed out for our next stop.

When we arrived at our second stop, I began laying out the Bikers for Backpacks t-shirts.  One gentleman in a Marines Corps vest stopped by the table and said he couldn’t buy a shirt because it wasn’t made by a union worker.

A good friend of mine and ex-Marine, Kel Jensen, overheard the exchange. She walked right over, bought the man a shirt and took it to his table.

Kel explained that the $15 dollar shirt paid for 60 meals for hungry kids. She then pointed over to two tables filled with bikers and said, “‘they are also Teamsters so take your shirt off and put this on!’”

Thanks to Kel, the man walked around the whole time we were there wearing the Bikers for Backpacks shirt!

We shared our third stop location with another charity ride – BAA Bikers against Autism. Due to all the rain, their original last stop of the day in Grafton was under water.

Members of our ride even bid on some of their auction items.

My friend John Snyder grabbed the microphone and explained to everyone in the room how we all came together and shared our day to help out children in need.

The lead singer of the band performing at our stop bought a Bikers for Backpacks t-shirt for $100!

By the end of the day, we had collected $1,373 in cash donations, 63 backpacks and 695 pounds of kid-friendly food.

All in all it was a great event with or without Mother Nature being on our side! Thanks to everyone who weathered the storm. We’ll see you next year!

We would like to thank Wristbands.net for their generous donation of custom wristbands for Bikers for Backpacks!

And a special thank you to the following individuals who helped make this a great day – John Snyder, Sarah Jenner, Cindy Jenner, Mary Givens, Pat Delhougne, Gail Chadwick, Carol Gabriel, Denise Daugherty and Tracy and Jerry Ripley with Ride Hard Magazine.

Trisha Jenner
Trisha Jenner is the Receiving Coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

 

Widespread Panic – Music Fans Feeding Families in Need

“Oh children from my brood they come and bring me food.”
– “Blue Indian” by Widespread Panic

The band Widespread Panic first began doing food drives at their concerts in 1999 with the fan-based organization Panic Fans for Food.

Since then, the band has been hosting food and funds drives at select shows on their tour and engaging their fans to get involved. Several fans heard about this week’s drive through Widespread Panic’s e-newsletter.

In October 2011, the fans of Widespread Panic generously donated food and funds that was the equivalent of 866 meals!

This year, fans attending the April 9 & 10, 2013 concerts donated $196.45 and 211 pounds of food to the St. Louis Area Foodbank! That will help provide 906 meals for the area’s hungry.

Everyone that made a donation was entered to win 3-D lenticular poster. Congratulations to the big winner – J. McDermott!

 

 

 

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For more photos from the concert, please visit: http://widespreadpanic.com/photos/4-10-2013-st-louis-missouri

 

Patrick Delhougne is the development associate at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

 

Country Music, General Mills & Feeding America Join Forces to Outnumber Hunger

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Are products like Cheerios, Pillsbury biscuits or Yoplait yogurt on your grocery list? If so, you have the opportunity to help feed families in need for free!
Yep, for FREE!

Buy Product + Enter Code = 5 Meals

Now, when you buy a specially-marked General Mills product, you’ll see an Outnumber Hunger code on the packaging.

Simply go to http://www.outnumberhunger.com and enter the code to secure 65 cents for Feeding America food banks such as the St. Louis Area Foodbank. That’s enough for Feeding America to provide five meals!

On the website, you’ll also enter your zip code, which helps determine which Feeding America food bank receives that donation. Could it be any easier to make an impact?

Plus, entering codes isn’t the only way you can help!

Sam’s Club Food Drive = Helping Families

Sam's Cub Logo

Through March 24, local Sam’s Club stores will be hosting an in-store food drive. Buy an extra box of cereal or macaroni, and drop your donation in the box to help local families.

Text HUNGER + Zip Code to 3456 = 12 Meals

If that sounds challenging, you can help out just by texting the word HUNGER + your zip code to 3456. That simple act secures an additional 12 meals for your local food bank! You won’t be charged for the donation – the only cost to you is your cell plan’s standard data/text rates!

Last year, the Outnumber Hunger program donated more than $750,000 to Feeding America and its’ member food banks, including the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

This year, General Mills will donate up to $1.3 million to Feeding America through Outnumber Hunger. And this program has some famous backers! Big Machine Label Group country recording artists are lending their voices and support including:

Watch The Band Perry speak about the campaign below:

 

Bethany Prange
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.