Audrey vowed to stay open even though her food pantry was severely damaged by a tornado that hit the DeSoto area this past May.
Audrey Reichardt started the Richwoods Food Pantry with her husband in 1986 when they distributed 10,000 pounds of potatoes.
I cant shut down, there are too many people who depend upon us for food. Ill just have to rebuild, she told me. People like Maria and Hector and their six kids they have nowhere else to go. Hector tries so hard to provide for his family, but he cant get enough automotive repair work to pay for rent, utilities, and food. And his wife, Maria, had some medical problems after her last child was born, so the bills are really piling up."
"Weve been able to help them out with baby food and cereal, powdered milk, peanut butter, fresh produce, and at times, even ground beef or chicken. Weve come a long way since our potato days everyone needs nutritious food, especially the children! And the St. Louis Area Foodbank helps us so much. I dont know what wed do without them!"
Audrey operates one of the 450 food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency feeding programs that depend on us for food. And she is not alone when she tells us more people than ever are coming to her door for help. Thats why we need your continued support to keep up with the increasing demand. Please take a moment to send us your gift of $20, $50 or even $100 so no one will be turned away.
Now that school is about to begin, it is tremendously important that children get the healthy meals they need. Numerous studies have shown that childrens cognitive development can be seriously damaged if they do not get enough nutritious food. They tend to do poorly with basic skills such as reading and vocabulary.And children who are undernourished also have difficulty fighting off infection. They are sick more often so they also miss more school. Its a vicious cycle but it doesnt have to be.
Your gift can give thousands of less-fortunate families the food they need so their children wont go hungry. And as Audrey says, not only do we feed their bodies, we also feed their souls by treating them with love and a caring spirit. I know you have that caring spirit, too. Please take a moment right now to send your most generous gift. Thank you!
|FROM THE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR|
|Last year, 6,718 people just like you made a
financial contribution to the Foodbank.
But, we're not surprised.
We are fortunate to live in a community that truly does care about making a difference in the lives of those in need. Even in a stumbling economy, friends like you chose to continue supporting our efforts to alleviate hunger. St. Louis has always taken great pride in community involvement. That's why "Scouting for Food" began here and why it remains the largest food drive in the country. It's why local media outlets team up with us at various times of the year to promote food drives and fund-raising efforts. It's why local companies like Boeing, Anheuser-Busch, Insituform Technologies, Edward Jones, Kraft, and a host of others support us with donations of time, food, and money.
We realize that 2002 could have been a year in which the Foodbank fell on hard times. A year in which we would have had to combat the growing problem of hunger with declining community support. But, you were behind us once again making sure that our mission to feed hungry people continued.
We are honored and humbled.
When you donate funds to the Foodbank, you've given us your trust. You trust we will be effective. You trust we will be efficient. You trust we will be good stewards. We pledge to honor that trust, always striving to be worthy of it.
As always, you have our gratitude.
|LOOKING BACK @ 2002|
|In 2002, the St. Louis Area Foodbank
... distributed more than 11.5 million pounds of food through more than 430 local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.
... worked with more than 2,200 volunteers who spent nearly 6,000 hours helping us sort and box donations.
... partnered with the Missouri Department of Health distributing monthly food boxes to 3,500 seniors in St. Louis City and County.
... teamed up with St. Louis Cinemas and 104.1 the Mall to hold a fund-raiser and food/toy drive. Moviegoers were given free admission in exchange for toys or canned goods for those in need.
... was awarded a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to implement the Hunger Outreach & Public Education project (HOPE), to educate member agencies and their clients about food stamps and healthcare services available to the underprivileged.
... received the 2002 Community Partner Award from Epworth Children & Family Services. In 2002, the Foodbank provided Epworth with more than 30,000 pounds of breakfast cereals, snack foods, cleaning supplies, and personal care items. According to Kevin Drollinger, executive director of Epworth, The resources the Foodbank provide are invaluable and their professionalism, resourcefulness, and willingness to work so closely with us is very appreciated.
... benefited from more than 100 food drives collecting a total of 1,434,464 pounds of food.
... reached listeners nationwide as Executive Director Frank Finnegan was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) to discuss how changing food industry trends are affecting hunger-relief organizations.
... was selected as KSDK Newschannel 5s featured charity during the Mid-America Parade.
|BY THE NUMBERS|