The Need for Food Assistance Across the Region is Skyrocketing

In a typical year, St. Louis Area Foodbank distributes tens of thousands of pounds of food every single day across the bi-state region. Add in the COVID-19 pandemic and an unemployment crisis, the amount of food assistance needed has grown substantially. From March through May 2020, the amount of food we distributed increased by more than 3.2 million pounds compared to the same timeframe a year ago and it’s not slowing down.

  • 11,701,132 lbs of food distributed March through May 2019  
  • 14,910,313 lbs of food distributed March through May 2020

Wow! Three-plus million pounds. That sounds like a lot of food. 

It is a lot of food. The average amount in a day’s meal for an adult American is 1.2 pounds. So, that’s an increase of nearly 2.67 million meals in just three months from one year ago.

Still can’t wrap your head around that number? Visually 3.2 million pounds is: 

  • About 975 cars (the average car weighs in at 3,280 pounds)
  • About 229 helicopters or school buses
  • Almost 13 railroad locomotive engines

What about the 14.9+ million pounds of food we’ve delivered just between March – May? That looks like:

  • More than 4,542 cars 
  • More than one large submarine
  • Almost 60 railroad locomotive engines

Nearly Everything Has Increased

Deliveries. Donations. Partners. Staff. 

This sudden increase in need means everything the Foodbank does has increased – from the number of drivers (six additional for the time being) to the number of deliveries and donations (thank you) to the number of partners to a few other temporary staff to help with day to day logistics. 

As of this writing, 63 new partners — which include churches, schools, taverns, municipalities, and dozens of nonprofits have signed on to help people in their communities have access to food through our Mobile Markets allowing us to distribute the perishable, donated products more efficiently and quickly. These additional Mobile Markets are, for the foreseeable future, allowing anyone who needs help with food to receive help — without going through any process and the only question asked is “how many people are in your family?”

The increase in need shows no current signs of slowing down and St. Louis Area Foodbank will continue to deliver and adapt as needed to help fight hunger and food insecurity within the 26 counties we serve.


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