Our partner agencies help provide vital food to families throughout the bi-state region. They also provide something that is less tangible, but no less important: hope that things will get better.
Part of that hope comes from empowering clients with the knowledge of how to prepare the nutritious food they receive from their local food pantry.
Because of its location in a rural area, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois at Hardin sees donations of fresh produce increase during the summer months. These donations often include tomatoes, squash and peppers. However, they don’t want to just distribute food, they also want to teach young people how to cook.
“We once received 2,000 wonderful pounds of potatoes from the Foodbank,” notes Manager Vera Droege. “When we started sharing them with families, one of our clients in her mid-30s admitted that, as a latch-key kid, the only potatoes she had ever cooked had come from a box. One of our volunteers taught her how to peel and cook a potato.”
The agency now has someone from the county home extension office come to the pantry once a month to prepare foods using currently available ingredients, offer samples to clients and provide them with recipes.
That’s the kind of personal touch the staff and volunteers at our partner agencies offer to clients facing emotionally and physically challenging times. That’s what you provide when you support the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
This article was featured in the December 2014 Newsletter.