COVID-19 Response Spotlight: St. Louis Area Foodbank
Our region is facing unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 crisis. People who were already vulnerable are now at even greater risk. And many people are reaching out for help for the first time. Our community’s nonprofit organizations are under higher demand than ever before.
That’s why United Way’s COVID-19 Response focuses on helping organizations on the frontlines helping people. By providing stable funding to organizations in Missouri and Illinois, we’re helping organizations meet higher demand and continue to support our region.
With United Way’s support, organizations like the St. Louis Area Foodbank are helping people stay safe and healthy.
Providing groceries for people in need
The St. Louis Area Foodbank has seen a 30% increase in calls for food. They’re hearing from people who have lost their jobs, families whose kids rely on school lunches, and seniors who don’t have transportation to grocery stores.
United Way’s support is helping the Foodbank move quickly to feed more people in our community by purchasing more essential staples, like canned tuna, peanut butter, and canned vegetables.
“The funding from United Way is transformative,” said Meredith Knopp, the Foodbank’s president and CEO. “It allows us to source and get food out into communities very, very quickly.”
The Foodbank has hosted 137 pop-up distribution events since March 16, each serving around 300 families and distributing more than 800,000 pounds of food in one week alone.
What your support means
For the people helped, this support means more than just food on the table. It’s one less thing to worry about during an uncertain time.
“This money is going to people in our community,” Knopp said. “It is sustaining people in a time that’s very, very difficult to put food on the table. We’re providing that hope and that sense of relief that families won’t have to worry: ‘can I feed my family this week?’ No one should have to be having those worries in their lives right now.”
Here are some other examples of what United Way’s support of St. Louis Area Foodbank means to local people:
Without school lunches, a grandmother who recently finished chemotherapy for breast cancer didn’t have enough to feed her four granddaughters. With the Foodbank’s help, she doesn’t have to worry about going to the store and being exposed to the virus.
A woman who recently lost her job has a stop-gap to stay safe and healthy while she waits to start her new job as an essential worker.
A retired man is fostering three growing teenage boys. Now that they’re out of school, he was at a loss for how he’d feed all four of them. He relies on the Foodbank to supplement what he can buy on his fixed income.
United Way works with a collective of nonprofits equipped to respond during disasters to provide the most appropriate and complete response.
Disaster recovery is a long process, and United Way is committed to providing leadership to ensure immediate needs are met and help is available as long as it is needed.
Support our Response or let your friends and family know how they can donate to local efforts.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, dial 2-1-1 or visit 211helps.org to get connected to local resources.
Take action now:
- Discover ways to volunteer from home or safety in the community during COVID-19.
- Learn more about how United Way has helped with food security in our community.
- Share this story with family and friends.