Get Involved: Harvest from the Heart

By Sheniqua Faulkner
In Culture, Feature

This month, give thanks by giving back to these local hunger relief charities.

 

For many, November is a month to take time to reflect on all for which they are thankful as family and friends gather to enjoy a filling meal. It is also a time when many, feeling grateful for their own bountiful lives, seek ways to help those less fortunate. Read on to find out how you can help these three hunger relief charities this holiday season.

St. Louis Area Foodbank:
For 35 years, the Foodbank has helped thousands in the bi-state region. In fact, an estimated 57,100 people rely upon the St. Louis Area Foodbank for food assistance each week. During the holidays—and of course, everyday—the Foodbank relies on the help of volunteers. Hold a food drive at your home and encourage Thanksgiving guests to bring non-perishable food items to dinner in addition to their famous green bean casserole, or organize a drive in your workplace. Help is also needed in the Foodbank’s repackaging center, where each year, millions of pounds of food are donated through community food drives, local and national food manufacturers and the United States Department of Agriculture (stlfoodbank.org).

St. Patrick Center: As the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri, St. Patrick Center serves more than 9,000 people annually who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and helps provide them with opportunities for self sufficiency. This year, help the Center with their annual “Give Thanks: A Feast for Every Family” event, which assists more than 400 St. Patrick Center clients and their families. Clients receive grocery items, a gift certificate to purchase a turkey at any area Schnucks store and the opportunity to select a gently used winter coat. The center seeks donations for non-perishable food items, shopping bags and winter coats as well as volunteers to help sort and package the items and distribute to clients (stpatrickcenter.org).

Operation Food Search: A leader in collecting and distributing food throughout Missouri and Illinois, Operation Food Search also offers comprehensive nutrition education programs and environmentally friendly initiatives. OFS welcomes volunteers to help in their warehouse and to distribute food to local agencies, but you can also help the organization through their annual Empty Bowls event at Plaza Frontenac this month from November 19-21. Throughout the year, OFS receives dozens of donated art pieces representing empty bowls—reminders that many in our community are faced with hunger everyday. These works, which are constructed of materials ranging from clay to paper maché, are offered to the public with a suggested donation value. Each donation is tax-deductible, and for every dollar donated, Operation Food Search is able to distribute $17 worth of food (operationfoodsearch.org).

 

1028_441.jpgOperation Food Search Volunteers

1029_441.jpgSt. Louis Area Foodbank volunteers

1030_441.jpgA volunteer helps fight hunger in St. Louis

1031_441.jpgSt. Louis Area Foodbank volunteers

1032_441.jpgVolunteers help fight hunger in St. Louis.

1033_441.jpgSt. Patrick Center

 

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