Today, the Missouri Foundation for Health announced a $1 million grant to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
The grant, which is part of the Foundation’s $4 million Emergency Food Access Project, will be awarded over the next two years.
These funds will allow the Foodbank to transport more donated nutritious food, which is needed to offset decreases in federal commodities caused by program cuts and pending sequestration.
In 2012, the Foodbank saw a decrease of 3.5 million pounds of USDA Commodities – 10.8 million pounds in FY2011 versus 7.3 million pounds in FY2012.
Still, the St. Louis Area Foodbank managed to distribute 25 million pounds of food in fiscal year 2012. Nearly three million pounds of that food were fresh fruits and vegetables.
These items are often the most expensive to acquire and transport. Unfortunately, food manufacturers and farmers are donating less fresh product as their food production efficiencies improve, and as gas prices increase, the cost of transporting food goes up.
Thanks to the grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Foodbank will have the funds available to solicit, transport and distribute more fresh, nutritious food to families in need.
“This grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Frank Finnegan, president and chief executive officer of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. “Through this collaborative effort, MFH and the St. Louis Area Foodbank will strengthen the emergency food distribution system and improve the health of clients by ensuring local community partners have the ability to distribute fresh produce to hungry Missourians.”
The Missouri Foundation for Health’s Emergency Food Access Project aims to increase food distribution to as many underserved Missourians as possible, with an emphasis on nutritious and fresh food options.
Of the $1 million award to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, at least $200,000 will be applied toward infrastructure improvements at the Foodbank’s 381 Missouri partner agencies, which include food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters.
Many of our agencies need improvements to their food transportation and storage capacities. These funds will help make those improvements possible.
In addition to the donation to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, MFH will provide $1 million each to three other food banks in Missouri, including the Southeast Missouri Foodbank in Sikeston, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri in Columbia, and Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield.
The St. Louis Area Foodbank would like to thank the Missouri Foundation for Health and all those who attended today’s press conference, including Brendan Fahey of of Senator Claire McCaskill’s office and Missouri Representative Margo McNeil..
To view more pictures from today’s press conference visit our Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/stlfoodbank