The St. Louis Area Foodbank is proud that our team is a team that not only embraces but encourages diversity! We are excited to celebrate Black History, not only during the month of February, but throughout the entire year. This is an opportunity to celebrate Black achievement, provide a fresh reminder to take stock of where systemic racism persists, and give visibility to the people and organizations creating positive and lasting change for generations to come.

Each year, ASAALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History), an organization founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915, selects a theme. This year, the focus is on ’Black Health and Wellness’.

From highlighting the importance of Black Health and Wellness to acknowledging the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, a focus is being placed on body positivity, physical exercise, nutrition, exploring other dietary options such as veganism and vegetarianism, and gardening. The St. Louis Area Foodbank continues to focus our efforts on sourcing and distributing healthy and nutritious foods to everyone across the 26 counties that we serve. We are also mindful and working to address issues of equity and access across the bi-state region.

We know that food insecurity is an economic condition, driven by a lack of money or other resources. It exists in every county across the United States. Recently, Feeding America published a report titled “Identifying Racism in the Drivers of Food Insecurity” that focuses on how systemic racism drives disparities in correlation to five economic indicators that impact a family’s ability to access food: disabilities, homeownership, median income, poverty, and unemployment. The purpose of this report was to better understand the depth of racial inequities in the communities we serve, and how to better address them head on.

Using resources such as this, combined with local data and information provided directly by the communities we serve, the St. Louis Area Foodbank is launching our new Strategic Plan to build a nutritionally secure Missouri and Illinois. Our three goals are simple:

1. To nourish people in need so that we may end hunger today.
2. To empower communities to end food insecurity tomorrow.
3. To transform systems to end nutritional insecurity for good.

We look forward to sharing more in the weeks and months to come and are so honored to serve the bi-state region, with a laser focus on health, wellness, nutrition, equity and removing barriers that exist so that everyone can access the healthy and nutritious foods they need to thrive.

We hope that everyone will take some time to share, celebrate and understand the impact of Black heritage and culture. We know that acknowledging our differences ultimately brings us closer together and helps us to better serve our community. Follow us on social media @stlfoobank to learn more about Black History and how you can celebrate and support Black businesses and culture in the bi-state region.

You can read the full report from Feeding America and view the data here: https://www.tableau.com/foundation/data-equity/economic-power/feeding-america-racism-food-insecurity