Give STL Day Spotlight: St. Louis Area Foodbank
Give STL Day, a 24-hour online day of giving hosted by the St. Louis Community Foundation (STLCF), is an important day for area nonprofits. This year Give STL Day was not only important, but necessary for nonprofits to gain support to continue to serve the St. Louis community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The St. Louis Area Foodbank is a nonprofit working to create a stronger, healthier bi-state region where no one goes to bed hungry. The Foodbank supports a network of more than 560 agency partners and community programs in 26 counties throughout the bi-state region. Providing nutritious food, personal care items and other resources for organizations directly feeding individuals and families.
The STL Foodbank has participated in Give STL Day since its inception in 2014.
“Give STL Day is a wonderful opportunity to see the community’s support right before our eyes,” said Derek May, Director of Philanthropy at the St. Louis Area Foodbank. “It’s incredible to witness our community rally and support the causes they care so deeply about while being introduced to new organizations doing great work in our region,” May added.
With COVID-19 putting a strain on the St. Louis area and the rest of the world, the need for Give STL Day donations was greater than ever before. Prior to the pandemic, according to May there were more than 400,000 food insecure individuals in the region and those numbers continue to rise.
“More than anything, we wanted Give STL Day to be a day of gratitude. Our approach was twofold. We wanted to educate the public on the current need due to the COVID-19 crisis and to share the impact of how their donation would be used,” May explained.
The Foodbank surpassed its $45,000 goal on Give STL Day by raising over $74,400, almost ten times its 2019 sum of $8,170. The funds raised will help provide nearly 300,000 meals in the region.
Other than participating in Give STL Day, the Foodbank has been working diligently to support those in need during the pandemic. May explained that the organization has seen a dramatic increase in the need for food assistance throughout its 26-county service territory.
“We have conducted drive-through food distributions for more than 10 years. Once the pandemic hit, we went from organizing a few to more than 150 drive-through distributions each month,” May said. “To date, we have added 55 new disaster partners to increase food access across the community.”
To enhance its efforts, the St. Louis Area Foodbank has also worked to optimize its partner agency distribution capabilities by providing best practices and safety guideline that meet the Center for Disease Control (CDC) requirements.
“St. Louis always comes together to help our neighbors. We are a community of people helping people. No matter the circumstance, our community always rallies together,” May concluded.
If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic or wants to get involved, please visit the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s COVID-19 Relief and Resource page at www.stlfoodbank.org/covid19.