Getting Ready For the New School Year!
Did anyone else think that summer just flew by this year? I would guess if you asked any school-aged child, they would most likely agree. While the temperatures my still feel like summer, it is time to start thinking about that transition, and looking ahead to hitting the books and so much more.
As we look into this new school year, the St Louis Area Foodbank is continuing to work on ways to reduce the stress and strain on budgets by ensuring that children have the healthy and nutritious foods that they need to thrive this school year.
Our school markets program continues to meet the needs of K-12 students, and their families in the communities they support. We are excited to announce that by the end of the year we plan to have 35 school markets open across the bi-state region. We know from working with school administrators and educators that this program is truly game changing, helping increase students attendance, performance, as well as creating a safe and dignified ways for families to receive the food and resources they need.
Our Food on the Move program continues to grow, with our two new trailers in service across the region, which means we have DOUBLED the number of communities that we are able to support. This award-winning program truly works to meet people where they are, with a variety of foods that neighbors can select, at no charge to them. We are proud to have great supporters in our community that offset the costs for this program, and truly help us stand alone in how we provide food and resources to our community, at no cost.
Above: One of our brand new, custom-built Food on the Move Trailers! Below: The one and only original Food on the Move Trailer.
While students are preparing for back to school, we are working hard preparing for both Hunger Action Month (September) and the Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every 5 years, and is set to expire on September 30th. You might ask why the St. Louis Area Foodbank is so keen on the Farm Bill – as we don’t own or operate a farm. While the Farm Bill gives our farmers and ranchers the tools they need to keep their farms and food supply secure in all seasons, it also funds nutrition programs like SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, as well as programs that support the innovation and efforts of our agriculture ecosystem. In short, the farm bill is a critical piece of legislation that truly impacts the food security of our country, by ensuring safe, high-quality, and affordable food. We will be publishing a series of OP-ED pieces in the weeks to come with some of our great partners, as well has having two new events in September, one around the Farm Bill, and one to commemorate Hunger Action Day on September 15th downtown with a community-wide food drive and lots of fun – so stay tuned for more!
We continue to be inspired by all of the companies and groups that come out to the Foodbank to volunteer, helping us pack, inspect, and build food boxes and fresh produce to distribute to our over 600 partners across the communities that we serve. If you are looking for a way to get involved, please visit:http://stlfoodbank.org to sign up to volunteer, host a food drive, or VIRTUAL food drive, or make a financial donation to support our work. Whether you can help us with food, funds, or just being a friend of the Foodbank – we are grateful for your support in helping us change lives across the bi-state region!