Ready for the New Year!
Posted by Meredith Knopp:
In his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr stated, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.
Dr. King’s dream is something that we at the St Louis Area Foodbank absolutely share and continue to work hard each and every day to do our part, in making his dream, a reality, for everyone that calls the bi-state region home.
We know that for many families, inflation and an uncertain economy continues to cause severe stress and financial struggles making ends meet. Inflation has caused prices to raise in many categories, and food prices are leading the way. Unfortunately, once prices rise, it is usually difficult and slow for them to come back down. More than 90% of the items tracked in the Consumer Price Index are more expensive than they were in February 2020, with most price increases landing north of 20% and some (fuel and margarine) approaching 55%, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows Food prices are nearly 25% higher and low-income households are particularly vulnerable to these increases because they spend a greater share of their income on food.
However, there is also some potentially good news on the horizon. If inflation can stay down, and wages can continue to grow, there is absolute hope that families will be able to get back on their feet and require less support in the future. There are lots of factors that will determine this trajectory, and while we have hope for this New Year, we also know that hope alone, is not a strategy.
This year the St. Louis Area Foodbank is continuing to innovate, collaborate, and forge new partnerships with farmers, growers and businesses to help alleviate the stress and strain that hundreds of thousands face across the bi-state region. We know that many hands make light work, and if more businesses, organizations and leaders are willing to lean in, listen, learn and lead – we can and will make a transformational impact on our region.
I also want to remind everyone of the top 3 needs we have at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, in the hopes that at least one of these will speak to you in the New Year, and inspire you to join us, in being part of this fundamental shift, ensuring every resident has the opportunity to live their best possible lives:
1. Funds: this is the most needed atop our list, because we can leverage our amazing buying power and relationships across the country to purchase healthy, culturally appropriate, and medically tailored foods to serve, strengthen and support everyone that calls our region home. To make a donation please visit: https://stlfoodbank.org/give-funds/
2. Food: this is a fun (and oftentimes a competitive way) to support the St. Louis Area Foodbank. We provide everything you need for a food and funds drive. Food drive barrels, up to date lists of most needed items, and customizable links for you to add logos, dates, and track progress if you want to make this a “friendly competition” between departments or even cross-town offices. Help us keep pantries stocked this winter by clicking here: https://stlfoodbank.org/give-food/
3. Friends: We simply cannot do this work alone – and we count on thousands of volunteers annually to come out and help us prepare, pack, sort and deliver food to our over 600 pantry and program partners across the region. Volunteers help ensure we keep our costs down, and are the “secret sauce” to why we can proudly report that over 96 cents of every dollar donated to the St Louis Area Foodbank goes DIRECTLY to our programs and services to nourish, empower, and transform our region. If you, your family, your friends, or your colleagues are interested in signing up for an upcoming volunteer shift at the Foodbank please click here: https://stlfoodbank.org/give-time/
However, whenever and wherever you choose to join us, we thank you – for your time, your talents and your treasures. We are humbled to have the support of so many businesses, volunteers, donors and partners – and look forward to an incredible year of impact across the bi-state region.