Food Banks | St. Louis Public Radio

Food Banks

Children leave Pershing Elementary School on March 26, 2020, after picking up lunch. Some districts in the state have cut back student meal services after employees got sick.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Food service employees are among the few workers in school districts physically reporting for work every day during the pandemic lockdowns, joining front-line efforts to keep needy kids fed and safe.

“Our jobs are not necessarily monetarily driven, they’re more mission-driven,” said Irene Wan, director of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District’s food service division. “We’re here to serve people, we’re here to serve our families.”

jpellegen | Flickr

Food insecurity is affecting a significant number of seniors, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. A recently released report found 12% of Missouri seniors did not have consistent access to food in 2015.

Close to 170,000 older Missourians — or 1 in 8 of the state’s seniors — suffer from food insecurity. That’s when a person can’t safely access healthy food due to cost, lack of transportation or other factors. With seniors in already-vulnerable health, a lack of healthy food can cause new health conditions and make existing ones such as high blood pressure or diabetes more serious.

Nov. 19, 2018 at Operation Food Search: Andrew Glantz, CEO GiftAMeal and food bank manager Mark Taylor check bags for weekend meal program.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

As many families prepare for the annual Thanksgiving feast, not everyone has the opportunity to sit down to a traditional meal on Thursday, or any other day of the week. The statistics about food insecurity — hunger — in our region are stark.

“Missouri is one of the hungriest states in the country,” said Mark Taylor at Operation Food Search, a food bank that distributes 200,000 meals a month in St. Louis and 31 surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 03, 2010 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack came to Jefferson College in Hillsboro Thursday for the National Summit of Rural America. The event was the culmination of the Obama administration's Rural Tour, launched in 2009. Since then Vilsack has covered more than 45,000 miles, listening to the concerns of rural Americans. Those concerns centered on saving a threatened way of life -- through biofuels, creating more opportunities in rural communities and opening up more foreign markets to U.S. agricultural produce. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 26, 2010 - A church is the people, not the building, says the pastor of the Good News Baptist Church in Jennings, and so when the roof fell in two Saturdays ago, the people gathered the next morning in an adjoining building for Sunday worship.

Then, as the workweek began, the people picked up their mission and went about feeding the hungry of the neighborhood just as they always do.