Volunteer Archives | St. Louis Area Foodbank

Navigate / search

Ways to Get Involved this Autumn

 Giving back to your community can be a great way to spend time together and to help make someone else’s holiday a little brighter.

Autumn is a time to spend time with family and friends as we approach the holiday season. Some of our best memories of the past and plans for the future include a meal shared with loved ones. Autumn is also a great time of year to get involved through volunteering with loved ones.

Turkey Train 2012 045

The St. Louis Area Foodbank partners with over five hundred food pantries, soup kitchens and residential facilities in our region to distribute food to those in need. The opportunities to volunteer this season are abundant and appreciated.

Give Back 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.

Host a Holiday Food Drive

Holidays typically mean a lot of shopping for everyone. Start a collection of items to be donated. Get your whole family involved and tell your friends. Then, take your donation to your nearest food pantry or bring it to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Taking the time to think of others can be as easy as picking up a few extra food items for those in need.

Check out the 35 Best Items to Donate. 


We are often amazed at the giving spirit we encounter at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, and are so proud to operate in such a gracious community. As the season gets colder and busier, consider donating your time to a local pantry or soup kitchen to add the warmth of volunteering to your holiday.

Happy World Food Day!

Friday, October 16, is World Food Day, a day to stand together against world hunger. Our Dietitian, Kelly Hall, has put together some simple recipes from around the world for you to try. 

All over the world, people will be taking action against hunger on World Food Day. Even in St. Louis, people will be working together to package meals for the hungry at home and abroad. You can find out more about World Food Day here.


Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are quick and easy Mexican dish: a corn or flour tortilla stuffed with meat and covered in a tomato-chili sauce. They’ve been around since Mayan times and are a versatile dish that allows for the use of a variety of meats and veggies depending on what you have on hand. Serve them with rice and beans for a complete Mexican meal.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

8 6-inch corn tortillas

2 1⁄2 cups canned enchilada sauce


Enchiladas Suizas

Heat oven to 400° F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet. Rub with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, until cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes; let cool, then shred.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 cup of cheese. Dividing evenly, roll up the chicken mixture in the tortillas and place seam-side down in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add a side of rice and beans for a complete Mexican meal.


Italian Sausage Soup

Sausage Soup is a hearty staple of the Italian diet, especially during the cold winter months. It combines fresh herbs with the pasta, cheese, and tomatoes that Italy is known for. Pair this soup with garlic bread for a delicious and filling meal.


8 ounces hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage

2 cups reduced or no sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta

2 cups bagged baby spinach leaves

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan, and cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain; return to pan.

Add broth, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach until wilted. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.
Read more

Glosemeyer Farm Corn Donation


On Monday, July 13, the St. Louis Area Foodbank worked with the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) for the third time since 2010 to harvest 7,210 lbs. of corn. The corn was then donated to Loving Hearts in Washington, MO, a partner agency of the Foodbank.

In 2010 the donation was 4,708 lbs. followed by 4,386 lbs. in 2014. This year was the largest donation yet—7,210 lbs. of fresh, sweet corn!

The corn was grown and donated in 2014 and 2015 by Glosemeyer Farm in Marthasville, MO, through their partnership with MCGA.

Missouri Corn Growers Association

MCGA is a grassroots organization of farmer-members who have been working to increase the profitability of corn production through partnerships and education since 1978.

We wanted to take the time to thank MCGA and Glosemeyer Farms for partnering with us this year to provide fresh produce to the community.


If corn is starting to sound really good, try out this tasty side dish recipe:

Sheri’s Cold Cornbread Casserole


  • 1 pan of cornbread
  • 2-3 cups corn, cooked or canned
  • 2 cans red beans
  • 3 cups of chopped vegetables (cauliflower, green peppers, tomatoes, whatever you prefer)
  • 3 cups ranch dressing


  • Crumble cornbread in the bottom of a dish
  • Cover the cornbread with corn and red beans
  • Add the chopped vegetables
  • Coat the top with ranch dressing
  • Toss together, serve cold

Last year, our distribution manager, wrote a blog about the Glosemeyer donation.

Read it here >> Picking Sweet Corn for Families in Need

Volunteers Needed!

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

May 9, 2015 | 3 Hour Shifts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Area Post Offices


On Saturday, May 9, 2015, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will collect food donations in order to provide assistance to the millions of Americans who are struggling with hunger.

Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest single-day food drive.

The nation’s 180,000 letter carriers will collect food donations left at the mailboxes of generous Americans in more than 10,000 communities and deliver them to food banks and other hunger-relief organizations.

We need volunteers to help pick-up, sort and package the food at Post Offices around St. Louis. 

Read more

A Few Spare Minutes to Make a Big Impact

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do.”

–       Amelia Earhart

I think most of us aspire to make a difference – either in our careers, in the lives of our loved ones, or in our community.

But life, with all its complications and commitments, often seems to stand in the way.

Social Graphic 2 - Customizable Version

Though we may have the best of intentions, we somehow never seem to find the time or energy to do all that we hope to do.

Like many of us, I often tell myself that I’ll be able to do more giving back later in my life. . .when my son is older. When my work is less busy. When I have fewer social commitments.

The trouble with “later” is that inevitably, something or someone new always appears. That hope for “later” becomes a mirage we continually chase.

What if I could do something NOW? Is there something I can do in my small snippets of free time that would still make a difference?

Right now, the St. Louis Area Foodbank needs your online vote to help us win a $60,000 grant. If we win, we will be able to provide more than 200,000 additional meals to families in need!

You can vote once a day at http://stlfoodbank.org/clickforacause. Just put MO in the search bar and vote for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Then share with your friends and family and encourage them to vote too!

Then, as we continue to celebrate Hunger Action Month, I’m happy to say that there are a myriad of additional things I – and those like me – can do.

Here’s a list of small actions that require just a few moments to achieve, but still make a big impact. You can make a difference in the lives of the 1 in 8 people in our community who struggle with hunger.

 By Bethany Prange

St. Louis Area Foodbank Social Media Specialist

It’s My Turn to Give Back

When I was a kid, my family needed help and organizations like the Foodbank were there for us. Now it’s my turn to give back.

This past weekend, I participated in my second food fair with the St. Louis Area Foodbank.


This time, I donated my time on behalf of the Friends of the Foodbank, a new group of professionals committed to volunteering and representing the Foodbank at community events.

The Foodbank partnered with one of their partner agencies, a church in Washington, Mo., to provide almost 20,000 pounds of food to more than 130 families in need. Read more

How Does Your Garden Grow?

After visiting a local food bank on a school trip, I was surprised to see the limited fresh produce options for families utilizing area food banks.


I know shelf-stable items are easier for the average person to donate during a food drive, and more practical for food pantries to store. But I also know how important fresh fruit and vegetables are to a healthy diet!

I decided I wanted to make a difference in my community in the fight for food justice.

My interest in gardening was peaked when I read about Katie’s Krops, a non-profit organization that encourages youth to grow vegetables and fruit to feed the hungry in their communities. Read more

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities


In the last year, more than 19,000 volunteers have helped the St. Louis Area Foodbank feed hungry families by sorting and repackaging food here at our facility in Bridgeton.

We’d like to share that good fortune by encouraging folks to volunteer around the holiday season at any St. Louis-area agency who could use the extra help.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis has compiled a great list of places to volunteer between October and January.

There are a lot of cool things you can do on that list, from making Christmas cards and baking cookies with the kids at Epworth Children and Family Services to celebrating Kwanzaa at St. Louis Crisis Nursery.

Check out all the volunteer opps here:


On Christmas Day, you can participate in the annual STL Jewish & Muslim Day of Service.

The goal of this annual project is “to bring together people of different faiths to volunteer their time on Christmas Day” and to “build stronger ties among people of different backgrounds.”

Learn more here: http://www.stljewishmuslimdayofservice.org/

Here are just a few more places where you can lend a hand:

Agency Name: Good Samaritan Ministries in Carbondale

Volunteers needed: To help hand out food to families in need.
Dates/times: 8 a.m. Dec. 20, 2013
8 a.m. Dec. 23, 2013
Good Samaritan Ministries Food Pantry
University Baptist Church
700 S Oakland
Carbondale, IL 62901

Contact: JoAnn Grammer or Patty Mullen at 618-458-5794
Organization website: www.goodsamcarbondale.org


Agency Name: Salvation Army

Volunteers needed: This is toy town/ toys for tots volunteer opportunity where toys and food vouchers are prepared and issued.

Dates/times: Now through Dec. 20, 2013
3949 Forest Park
St. Louis, MO
Requirements: Must be able to lift 20 pounds

Contact: Sheila Davis at shelia_davis@usc.salvationarmy.org
or 314-646-3166

Joshua Kamer at joshua_kamer@usc.salvationarmy.org
or 314-646-3043

Organization website: www.stlsalvationarmy.org


Agency Name: Lansdowne Washington Park Food Pantry

Volunteers needed: Sorting donated food.

Dates/times: Dec. 20, 2013
Dec. 23, 2013
Dec. 27, 2013
Dec. 30, 2013
AmeriCorps East Saint Louis
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House
1274 N. 37th Street
East St. Louis, IL 62204

Requirements: Must be over age 18
Must have valid driver’s license
Must be able to lift 20 lbs or more
Must be able to work outside

Contact: Naisha N. Bailey, pantry supervisor at nbailey@lessiebatesdavis.org or 618-271-2522

Organization website: http://www.lessiebatesdavis.org/

By Bethany Prange

Communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank