314 Day!

314 Day!
Meredith Knopp

Everyone loves a reason to celebrate—a holiday, special occasion, sporting championship—because it gives us a chance to come together with family, friends, or sometimes complete strangers to experience joy and happiness and just feel good.

Growing up in Michigan, March was all about either St. Patrick’s Day or “March Madness” and basketball. Between wearing green and getting a “Shamrock Shake” as a special treat or watching basketball, there were a few reasons to celebrate. The brackets, the underdogs, and the experience of the NCAA tournament- it was an exciting month for sure.

As I got older, a colleague of mine had “Pi Day” as her favorite holiday, as she was a mathematician at heart. She would go all out decorating and, of course, bring in “pie” to work—so again, another reason to celebrate.

Here in St. Louis, March 14th takes on a whole new meaning—and it keeps growing every year. 314 Day is special and unique, as it is a day and a way to rally support for our community, as we take time to celebrate all the amazing people, businesses, initiatives, and progress that is happening across the 314 area code.

Admittedly, this was new for me, being a “transplant” to St. Louis in 2007, and someone had to explain it to me because I do not have a “314” cell phone number—but once I “got it” (and felt silly for not getting it sooner!), I smiled because St. Louis is truly a city that my family and I embrace and call home.

This has genuinely been on center stage over my six years as the President and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. We have endured two major floods, the COVID-19 pandemic, and now inflation and a challenging economy – and each time, St. Louis has helped ensure that we can continue to serve and support our community – and it is absolutely humbling.

I have seen it from countless other amazing non-profits working to house the unhoused, care for children, and provide medicine to improve health outcomes. I have seen incredible and awful stories in the news where our community rallies around tragic situations to try and make things a little easier for someone who has experienced a catastrophic loss. The kindness, paying it forward, and how our community rallies behind new initiatives, like our new St Louis City SC Soccer team—St Louis knows how to do things right.

This 314 Day, my challenge is for everyone to find a way to show YOUR support for St. Louis. At the St. Louis Area Foodbank, we always discuss our need for funds, food, and friends! If you can and want to donate in honor of 314 Day, please visit https://stlfoodbank.org/give-funds/. If you would like to host a community food drive at your place of business, school, church or community, please visit: https://stlfoodbank.org/give-food/. If you would like to volunteer with us please visit: https://stlfoodbank.org/give-time/.

Please know that whatever you can do, your donation will make a real difference in the lives of families right here in the St. Louis Region. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate 314 Day than by doing something to help someone you may not even know. Together, we can show the rest of the country that St. Louis is the best place to call home!

Here in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, nearly 400,000 neighbors experience food insecurity. As we know, St. Louis is more significant than the neighborhoods and ZIP codes encompassing the 314, but rather a regional family of love and support.



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