Be an Advocate
Donating time, funds, and food are a big part of the effort. But helping raise awareness and sharing about the need with others is also invaluable. You can help make a difference by becoming an advocate for hunger relief!
Share in our Mission
St. Louis Area Foodbank understands that food insecurity is a complex issue that calls for a multi-pronged solution. We distribute food throughout our 26-county service area to meet the immediate need, and we believe larger systemic changes must occur to see a hunger-free future. We work with a network of empowered citizens, passionate partner organizations, and engaged elected officials to advocate for policies and systems that address both immediate challenges and the root causes of food insecurity.
Keep up-to-date on all the work the foodbank and our network is doing on our monthly blog. Learn more about upcoming legislation, Foodbank initiatives, and the policy that impacts food access for families in this community.
Keep the Conversation Going
Engage your community in the fight against hunger by shedding light on the reality of food insecurity in your own backyard. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues about the solutions to hunger. The more we recognize the problem and collaborate to address the need, the healthier our communities will be.
Make a Difference
Become a hunger advocate today by helping us influence the policy and priorities that ensure a hunger-free tomorrow! When you let your elected official know that hunger is a cause you care about, you help create positive change for all those who struggle to put food on the table.
Lend your voice, share your knowledge, make a difference.
To find out ways you can participate in Foodbank initiatives and join our team of anti-hunger advocates contact Teresa Schryver.
Visit the HEC
Schedule a visit to the Hunger Engagement Center to learn more about advocacy, hunger in our region, and how you can use your voice to make a difference.
HUNGER FACTS & STATS
To learn more about food insecurity including current challenges and recent numbers for the bi-state area, click the link below.
use your voice
Email your Members of Congress right now, and tell them why fighting hunger is a priority they should care about using Feeding America’s easy-to-use template.
Track Hunger Legislation
Find the latest information about recent hunger advocacy and legislation here.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
More than 11 million children are living in food insecure households. While children are at school, school breakfast and lunch programs are effective federal programs that provide healthy, nutritious meals for children facing hunger. But when school ends – either for the day or for the summer – kids are dispersed and harder to reach. Afterschool and summer programs provide valuable support to families but are limited when they are unable to reach children in need.
The St. Louis Area Foodbank helps provide food to children by supporting hundreds of organizations dedicated to fighting hunger across the bi-state region and by targeting childhood hunger through our school market programs.
But there is more work to do. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, almost 114,000 children living in our region were food insecure in 2017. That makes for a child food insecurity rate of over 16%.
Fortunately, a number of federal programs exist to help feed our nation’s hungry children including the school breakfast and lunch programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Summer Food Service Program. Every five years Congress has an opportunity through Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) to revisit and reauthorize these programs and to make important changes that expand access to these nutrition resources.
But Congress hasn’t completed the CNR process since 2010.
The time to act for stronger child nutrition programming is now.
The Foodbank works year-round to help feed hungry kids and families in Missouri and Illinois, but our reach is limited without support from the federal government. We will be advocating for an impactful CNR this year, and we hope you’ll join us!
Why Child Nutrition Reauthorization is So Important
- Afterschool meals contribute to the healthy growth and development of low-income children by providing them with nutritious snacks and meals during out-of-school times so they are better able to learn during the school day.
- Across the country community nonprofits like food banks, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCAs, provide afterschool and summer programs to vulnerable children, through the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
- Of the more than 20 million low-income children participating in free or reduced lunch during the school day, only 1.6 million receive snacks and 1.2 million receive supper through afterschool feeding programs.
- While schools have the ability to operate afterschool and summer feeding sites through one program, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), community-based organizations must operate separate programs. By streamlining the child nutrition programs, food banks and other community-based providers will be able to feed children year-round through one seamless nutrition program.
- Because the meals programs for summer and afterschool are operated through separate programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), barriers exist to increasing access to healthy meals. Non-school entities are required to operate separate child nutrition programs, including separate applications and different program rules. Streamlining would allow public and private organizations to complete one application so that they can provide children meals after school, during the summer, on weekends, and during school holidays.
- Federally-subsidized meals and snacks attract children to out-of-school programs and ensure that kids are well fed, active, and engaged in enrichment activities while their parents are at work including academic and physical activities, nutrition education and mentoring.
Are you in need of food?
Find a nearby pantry or a food distribution event near you!