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Spoontember – Hunger Action Month 2015

 Hunger Action Month is a time to spread awareness about the issue of hunger.

You can join with Feeding America and the St. Louis Area Foodbank to spread the word by doing any number of small things to let your family and friends know where you stand on the issue of hunger in our region.

  • Start by liking the Foodbank and Feeding America on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest news in hunger.
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  • Keep the social love coming by following the Foodbank on Twitter and Instagram at @stlfoodbank. Share information about hunger with your followers throughout the month of September and all year long. Don’t forget to post your spoon selfie!
  • Make your profile pictures orange. You can download these to use:


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  •  Register to vote and become a hunger advocate.
  • Wear Orange on September 3rd and share a photo with us. Thursday, September 3rd is Hunger Action Day- a day to concentrate our efforts and really spread awareness. The Foodbank will be collecting photos of people all over St. Louis who are going orange!

Get more information about how the St. Louis Area Foodbank is going orange and what you can do to join the effort at http://stlfoodbank.org/portfolio/hunger-action-month/

Happy Corn on the Cob Day!

National Corn on the Cob Day is Sunday, August 16.

We’re celebrating with a delicious and healthy corn salsa recipe. What are some of your favorite ways to use corn on the cob?

Zesty Corn Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ears corn
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Can of black beans
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeds slightly removed and diced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. To grill corn (preferably over charcoal for best flavor), leave the husk on and grill it first until charred. Then remove the husk and strings and put it back on the grill for a little color – 2-3 minutes – rolling to heat all sides.
  2. Once grilled, slice corn off of the cob and add to bowl with remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, pepper or lime juice for added flavor.
  4. Serve immediately. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days, but is best when fresh.

The Recipe Card: July 2015

Toward the end of July, we were in Pitsburg, IL, and Warrenton, MO, for Food Fairs.

We distributed produce like carrots, potatoes, apples, radishes, and watermelons. We hope the recipes we collected will be a good resource for the community.

Kay’s Homemade Applesauce
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Ingredients:

  • 7-10 Apples, peeled and cored
  • 3-4 TBS lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ bag marshmallows
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a pot and cook until apples are tender. Add water if needed. Mash. 


Leonard’s Apple Crisps

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of crescent roll dough
  • 3-4 apples peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1  tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine apples, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl. Place crescent roll dough flat on a baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of apple mixture, fold dough over top of apple filling (it’s ok if the apple filling shows). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.


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Texas Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 potatoes peeled (optional) and cubed
  • 1 pkg ranch seasoning
  • Italian seasoning

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix potato cubes with seasonings. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.


Radish Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 10 radishes, shredded
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS malt vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Instructions

Combine cabbage, carrots, and radishes and mix well. Mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and mayonnaise until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour mayonnaise mixture over vegetables and toss thoroughly. Serve cold.


 

Have a good recipe to share? Looking for more ideas? Feel free to email your ideas to Maddie Smith, the Communications Coordinator at msmith@stlfoodbank.org.

Glosemeyer Farm Corn Donation

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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.

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

Sheri’s Cold Cornbread Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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

The Foodbank Goes to Washington

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At the end of June I packed my bags and headed to DC to represent the Foodbank and the hundreds of thousands of people we serve everyday. This was my second trip to DC as the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s Advocacy Coordinator, a position that was created in early 2014. Food banks around the US are stepping up their advocacy presence as we prepare to take our role in fighting hunger to the next level.

We work continuously with our partner, Feeding America, to connect with legislators and influence legislation that will directly impact the people we serve. As many of our friends know, the Foodbank covers 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois, which emcompasses 12 Members of Congress in DC. For my July 1, 2015 visit I was fortunate to meet with a total of eight staff members specializing in Agriculture legislation.

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The Visits

The day was packed with visits to both Senator McCaskill and Blunt’s offices (MO), as well as both Illinois Senators Durbin and Kirk. Rounding out the day I met with staff from Representatives Clay (MO-1), Davis (IL-13), Smith (MO-8) and Bost (IL-12).

Our asks were simple:

1) Support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization that allows increased access to summer feeding programs for thousands of kids who are currently missing out on healthy, nutritious foods during the summer.

2) Make the America Gives More Act permanent, allowing small farmers, small businesses and restaurants to donate products, especially produce to the Foodbank.

The visits went great and the support for the upcoming CNR was very strong. Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk are very involved in the current process and will be working with our office over the next month to gather personal stories and information that will encourage change. Representative Bost and Davis have direct impact in their District where the Foodbank is currently sponsoring summer feeding sites. Representatives Clay and Smith were very understanding and shocked to see evidence that their district’s children are struggling and more flexible options for reaching kids are needed. And both Senators of Missouri, McCaskill and Blunt, were very receptive of information in Missouri and our desperate need for more summer feeding sites in rural areas.

We feel confident and lucky that information regarding the CNR was received so well and look forward to action on the Hill over the next few weeks – but we can’t stop now! The goal of food banks around the US is to bring awareness to the issue of hunger and how that directly affects people in our Member’s districts. Although I have the ability to travel to DC and meet with Members of Congress and their staff, it is truly the voice of their constituents that makes the largest impact.

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Your Turn:

I, along with advocacy coordinators around the US, have planted the seed, but now we need you to bring that message home. I strongly encourage you to contact your Members of Congress and remind them that children are the future and it is our duty to make sure they are taken care of and fully equipped for that future. Feeding children may seem simple enough, but the long-term impact it has is crucial.

Please take a moment to contact your Member of Congress regarding the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Send an email

Find your representative and call or write

Additional information regarding the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization

 

Michelle KnightAdvocacy Coordinator

The Recipe Card: June 2015

During our June Food Fairs in Potosi, MO, and Carlyle, IL, we distributed over 45,000 pounds of food, including fresh produce like cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corn.

As we were preparing the distribution line, we asked multiple clients their favorite ways to cook the produce they were getting that day. Our goal is to make it easier for families that receive bulk produce distribution to come up with new and creative ways of preparing the food for their families.

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Joe’s Homemade “Hamburger Helper”

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • seasoning

 

Instructions:

Heat oil in a skillet and fry potatoes, onions, and hamburger meat together. Add the cream of mushroom and cream of celery to the skillet. Season to your liking using anything from salt and pepper to chili powder or garlic. Warm the mixture on the stove on low for 15 minutes.



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Teresa’s Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 jar of mild banana peppers
  • 1 tomato
  • Italian salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

Chop cabbage, banana peppers and tomato. Toss together with Italian dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.


Crockpot Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. corn
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese

Instructions:

Combine corn, butter, and cream cheese in a crock pot and allow to melt together for a warm, tasty dish.


Carrot Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375℉. Coat carrots in olive oil. Arrange on a baking pan and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.

Call Congress About Child Nutrition

On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire, and we need your help to convince Congress to get to work and make passing a strong child nutrition bill that invests in our nation’s children a priority.

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Help us spur Congress to action and strengthen child nutrition programs by calling today and spreading the word through social media.

 Calling Congress is easy. Here’s how:

  1. Dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Once you are connected to your House member, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the town you are calling from.
  3. Let them know you are calling about Child Nutrition Reauthorization and deliver this important message:
    As your constituent and supporter of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, I’m calling you today about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Too many kids in our community are not getting the food they need, particularly during the summer months when school is out.

    As my Member of Congress, you can do something about it. 
    I urge you to pass a strong child nutrition bill that provides more options to get food to kids that need our help by providing flexibility in operating the Summer Food Service Program and streamlining program requirements for providers that operate both afterschool and summer meal programs.
  4.  Be sure to dial back in and speak with both of your senators and your representative.

Double your impact by sending an email

Solar Panels Help Fight Hunger

The St. Louis Area Foodbank has been committed to fighting hunger locally since 1975. In the past few years, our commitment to reducing our environmental impact has helped us feed more families.

Since 2011, we’ve:

  • Replaced all the lighting in our warehouse and volunteer center with energy efficient fixtures
  • Implemented RoadNet, a system to more efficiently map out our drivers routes to reduce fuel emissions
  • Expanded our retail store pickup program to reduce the amount of food being thrown in local landfills
  • Installed a baler in our warehouse to recycle the large volume of cardboard we use each year

Last year, we worked with Microgrid Solar to place solar panels on our roof. To celebrate one year of utilizing solar energy and Solar Day on June 21, we wanted to share the difference our addition of solar energy has made for the community.

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Celebrating Solar Energy

Solar energy is abundant and clean, so it was an easy choice for us to add the 80 solar panels to allow us to harness solar energy for electricity.

Matt Dace, senior vice president at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, is happy with the decision to implement solar energy. “The Foodbank is always looking for ways to be as efficient as possible, so we can utilize more resources for our programs that feed people in need. Installing solar panels was an easy decision and the money saved has helped us feed more families.”

Providing More than Energy

In the past year, our solar panels have provided just over 35,000 kWh. This has resulted in a savings of more than $2,760. Not only is that great news for our utility bills, but it also means we were able to provide an additional 11,075 meals for families in need.

Since installing the solar panels, energy savings and utility cost changes took place immediately. Cleaner energy means less carbon dioxide in the air, less oil being used and a more sustainable way of producing energy. We’re happy to be able to utilize solar energy and we believe in the impact it has on our community: the environment and the people we serve.

SNAP Now Matched at Farmers Markets

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Schlafly SNAP 2 It Campaign

We are happy to announce that Schlafly has been awarded a $12,000 FINI Grant for St. Louis farmers markets.

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This year, the Schlafly Farmers Market partnered with Wholesome Wave to secure a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant. The grant will supplement their SNAP 2 It campaign, which matches SNAP (food stamp) dollars to double the amount recipients are able to spend at local farmers markets.

FINI Grants

FINI Grants are awarded to programs that offer incentives for SNAP recipients to shop at local farmers markets, which makes it a great fit for the SNAP 2 It campaign.

The FINI Grant will be divided over three years to provide a matching program for those using their SNAP dollars to purchase food at local markets. The matching program only applies to fruits and vegetables, but SNAP dollars can always be used to buy meats, eggs, seeds, and other produce at local farmers markets.

The FINI Grant participating markets are as follows:

Tower Grove Market

Tower Grove Park

4256 Magnolia Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

Saturdays 8 a.m. – noon., mid-April – November

Contact: Email contact@tgmarket.org

 

Webster Groves Market

Gazebo Park, 4 E Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119

Thursdays 3 – 6:30 p.m., May 7 – October 22

Contact: 314-963-5696 x5888; info@webstergrovesfarmersmarket.com

 

Schlafly Market

7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood, MO 63143

Wednesdays 4 – 7 p.m., April – October

Contact: 314-241-2337

 

North City – Saturday Market

2700 North 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106

Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., June 7 – October 18

Contact: Jessica at jessica@onsl.org or call 314.241.5031 x102.

 

International Institute – Saturday Market (West End Farmers Market)

Delmar Blvd & DeBaliviere Ave, St Louis, MO 63112

Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., May – October 17

Contact: Charlie McIntosh at mcintoshc@iistl.org or call (314) 773-9090 x128

 

Cherokee Street Market

2647 Cherokee, St. Louis, MO 63118

Fridays 4 – 7 p.m., June 6 – October 17

Contact: http://cherokeemarket.org/CONTACT

 

EarthDance Farms at Ferguson Farmers Market

Victorian Plaza

20 South Florissant Street, Ferguson, MO 63135

Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon

 

The FINI Grants were part of the 2014 Farm Bill and provide $100 million in competitive grant funds to be distributed over the next four years.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank will be conducting SNAP outreach at the participating farmers markets throughout the year. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance signing up for SNAP benefits please contact our SNAP Outreach Coordinators

Older Americans Act

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1 in 12 Seniors is Going Hungry

Often times when we think of the face of hunger we think of the nearly 16 million children that live in food insecure households – we don’t often think of the elderly. The truth is that more than 5.3 million senior citizens are affected by hunger, that is 1 in 12.

With the number of older adults projected to increase by 35 percent over the next decade, nutrition programs targeted at seniors will be critical to safeguarding the health of this vulnerable population. Many of these older americans have worked their entire lives to provide for their families, are retired, volunteer their time and never expected that at this stage of their lives they would be unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

Older Americans don’t often ask for help.

At the St. Louis Area Foodbank we see this first hand. We receive phone calls, when they have nowhere else to turn, regarding signing up for SNAP benefits. And that is only a handful; many households may not even realize they qualify for benefits. At local food fairs we meet older american volunteers who assist us for hours loading pounds of food into hundreds of cars only to end their day driving through the same line to stock their own cupboards.

The sad truth is that in our 26-county service territory, of Missouri and Illinois, 14% of the people we serve are age 60 or older. Many of these individuals, at this stage of their life, are having to choose between paying for food or buying essential medicines. In fact, 71% of the people we serve have had to make that choice in the last year.

We must urge our members of Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) as it celebrates it’s 50th year.

The Older Americans Act funds critical services that keep older adults healthy and independent, and provide needed support for seniors facing food insecurity.

Join us in urging Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

A program implemented by the St. Louis Area Foodbank, is a commodity-based program, providing nutritionally-balanced, shelf-stable food packages to 8,800 in seven counties in Missouri and two in Illinois. Last year the St. Louis Area Foodbank distributed over 103,300 CSFP boxes to low-income seniors.

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CSFP is the only USDA nutrition program that provides monthly food assistance specially targeted at low-income seniors. CSFP must be funded each year through the annual federal appropriations process and can only serve as many eligible people as funding allows. As a result, CSFP only operates in 46 states and is unable to serve all eligible seniors in these states.Congress has a duty to provide adequate funding to expand CSFP nationwide to serve all eligible seniors.

Join us in urging Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act