St. Louis Area Foodbank Blog

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  1. Way To Give

    by Bethany Prange | Comments (0)

    Wow St. Louis, way to give!!

     

    Yesterday was the second annual #GivingTuesday, and you all made us proud.

     

    St. Louisans rallied around our social media efforts yesterday and made @STLFoodbank the number two Twitter trend in our region!

     

    Plus, the number of online gifts we received through our website yesterday more than doubled the number we received last year on #GivingTuesday! 

     

    Even better, the online funds donated yesterday through www.stlfoodbank.org was more than the amount of gifts we received in the previous four years combined on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving!

     

    On our website alone, we received $5,020 in donations! That’s almost twice as much as last year!  We're grateful to Gamlin Whiskey House and Sub Zero Vodka Bar for offering up dinner for four people at their restaurants for anyone that made an online donation through our #GivingTuesday webpage.

     

    Yesterday, 38 folks became first-time donors through the Foodbank website. That is very exciting!

     

    Thanks to Chris Sommers, co-founder of Pi Pizzeria and Givver, for coming up with a terrific idea for fundraising on #GivingTuesday.

     

    Every donor who made a #GivingTuesday donation of $10 or more to the Foodbank through Givver received a free Pi pizza!

     

    Thanks to Pi, Chris, the Foodbank Social Media Avengers, and everyone who donated, tweeted and spread the word! And thanks to Cindy Levin for posting an #unselfie – a good deed version of the popular #selfie – of her acts of generosity on #GivingTuesday!

     

    And a special thanks to St. Louis on the Air for hosting our Ryan Farmer in their segment on #GivingTuesday!  Check it out: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/st-louis-participates-givingtuesday

     

        Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

     

     

     


     

  2. Gobbling Up the Holiday Spirit

    by Bethany Prange and Ryan Farmer | Comments (0)

     

    For most of us, a plump and delicious Thanksgiving turkey is a given on the fourth Thursday in November.

     

    But for so many, there is no guarantee they will have any meal at all, let alone a special one.

     

    That’s why we are so very grateful to the students of Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School.

     

    For 10 years, the students, parents, teachers and staff of MICDS have held a Turkey Train.

     

    The students bring in dozens of frozen turkeys, and pass the birds down a huge line, hand-over-hand, to fill a St. Louis Area Foodbank truck.

     

    It’s a pretty amazing sight – hundreds of kids braving the cold November weather to pass along this mainstay of holiday meals. Check out a video of the Turkey Train: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtzB0ll6BSs&feature=youtu.be

     

    This year, the MICDS family donated 8,165 pounds of turkey and 2,200 pounds of non-perishable food items to the Foodbank.

     

    These kids guaranteed 8,461 meals for families in need in our community. If that isn’t something to be thankful for, we’re not sure what is.

     

    The turkeys are already on their way out to our food pantries, where families in need can pick them up in time for Thanksgiving.

     

    Watch more video coverage of the 2013 Turkey Train: http://fox2now.com/2013/11/25/micds-students-participate-in-turkey-train/

     

    Click here to check out our Facebook photo album with pictures from the day's events.

     

        Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

     

        Ryan Farmer is the communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank

     

     


     

  3. Atta Boy Scouts!

    by Bethany Prange | Comments (0)

    Thanks to your hard work – and the overwhelming generosity of St. Louis city and county residents – we brought in a HUGE amount of food in the 2013 Scouting for Food drive!

    So far, the St. Louis Area Foodbank has collected 688,126 pounds of food since the scouts starting pick up food on Nov. 16, 2013. That’s a whopping 55,111 more pounds than last year, and we’re still counting! Additional donations will be either picked up and/or delivered over the next week or two, so our grand total will be even higher!

    Across the bi-state region, the results were just as astounding! According to the Post-Dispatch, “more than 2.1 million food items were collected by participants in the annual Scouting for Food drive in the St. Louis area and parts of southern Illinois and southeast Missouri.”

    “It was the most collected since 2008, when 2.2 million items were gathered, said Christine Dieckmann, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts of America's Greater St. Louis Area Council.”

    Read more of the Post-Dispatch article

    Regions Bank locations in the St. Louis area will be accepting any additional donations through the end of this week.

    A tremendous thank you to the boy scouts of the Greater St. Louis Area Council for their hard work, and to the generous folks who put donated food out on their porches!

        Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator for the St. Louis Area Foodbank

     

     

     

  4. Revolution For Good

    by Patrick Delhougne | Comments (0)


    Companion has decided to partner with the St. Louis Area Foodbank for their 20th anniversary. I sat down with Josh Allen to talk about the bread revolution and his commitment to the St. Louis community.

    Josh, you kind of grew up in the food industry, right?
    Yes, my family ran a regional wholesale food distribution business in St. Louis for over 100 years.

    What can you tells us about the open house on Saturday, November 9?
    We’re so appreciative of the support that the St. Louis community has shown us since we pulled our first baguettes from our stone ovens in South City in 1993, that we thought the least we could do was have a bit of an anniversary celebration. The Open House is our way of saying thanks. We’ll have plenty of bread and pastries, chef demonstrations, kids’ activities, music, ice carving, factory tours and samples from other St. Louis area micro-producers.

    What is your favorite Companion product to make?
    Every weekend we make a special over-sized, naturally leavened country bread called Miche. It is truly the essence of bread making – simply flour, water, sea salt and lots of TIME. It makes me the most happy to pull these big large loaves out of the oven.

    What exactly is the Early Bird Outlet?
    The EBO is our retail factory store that is open every Friday – Sunday from 7 AM to Noon. We produce nearly 15,000 lbs of bread and pastry each weekend day, so we thought we would make a bit extra and have it available to the public. It’s sort of a pop-up bakery each week in that we transform our loading dock – after our last truck has left the building – into the Outlet.

    Everything is on wheels and it all just rolls into place. Since we don’t have the same costs built into these products as we do when we have to pack and deliver around town – we pass the savings onto the folks who venture down to see us. All of the bread is sold for $2.50/lb. regardless of the variety which represents up to 50 percent savings on what you might find elsewhere.

    Speaking of Birds, Chris Carpenter is not just a legendary St. Louis Cardinal. He’s also a Bread Revolutionary. Tell me about the bread revolution.
    We wanted to create a campaign this year that took us back to our roots in simply making great bread. Our business has grown in a lot of different directions – two cafes, the EBO, frozen distribution, dipping oils, chocolates, jams – but at our core, we just bread bakers. The Revolutionary campaign was a way for us to remind ourselves and St. Louis about that. Aaron Segall of Ceregraphic deserves the credit. He’s been with us over 15 years helping define and design our look.

    As a local business owner, how do you think supporting organizations like the St. Louis Area Foodbank has impacted your business?
    We operate our business around what we call “Taking Care of the 4C’s – Our Companions, Our Customers, Our Company and Our Community”. The entire St. Louis hospitality industry is full of the most amazing, caring, generous people. Three or four times a month, we participate in a wide variety of events in support of the community. It is truly who and what we are. We have been blessed by this community to still be able to bake bread daily. Giving back is what it’s all about.

    What prompted you to partner with the St. Louis Area Foodbank for Companion’s 20th anniversary?
    We wanted to partner with an organization that is not only committed to St. Louis and involved daily with the food industry but also one that continues to make a difference in the lives of those in need of food assistance.
    We are committed to being able to give at least 20,000 meals!



    For details on their open house go to http://www.companionstl.com/20th-anniversary-open-house/


    Patrick Delhougne
    Patrick Delhougne is the development associate at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.




  5. The County Fair Comes to the Foodbank

    by Ryan Farmer | Comments (0)

    Every year around this time, Foodbank employees gather in our main warehouse for a little bit of fun that benefits an important cause – the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

    The St. Louis Area Foodbank is a proud member agency of the United Way. We’re just one of more than 170 area agencies that receive funding from the United Way. Those funds are used to further our mission of feeding hungry people throughout the bi-state region.

    At our employee United Way rally we remind our fellow staff members that when they support the United Way, they’re not only supporting the work that we do here at the Foodbank, but they are helping the entire community.

    Our United Way rally planning committee, headed by our Food Drive Coordinator Casey Milton, always ensures that we’re not just raising funds, but also employees’ spirits.

    Casey always comes up with a theme for the day. Rally committee members usually end up dressing in some sort of costume based around the theme and this year was no exception.

    Our 2013 theme was The County Fair. There was a ring toss game, a pie-eating contest, hot dogs, hay bales, funnel cakes and much more. There was even a dunking booth. Weeks prior to the rally, employees could vote (for $1 each) for who they wanted to see in the dunking booth. The top two vote-getters (our President & CEO, Frank Finnegan, and our Inventory Control Manger, Tim Jackson) each spent 15 minutes praying that their fellow employees had bad aim.

    Employees could purchase tickets to participate in various games throughout the day for the chance to win some really great prizes. The totals are still being calculated, but it looks like we’re on pace to exceed last year’s fundraising totals. The more we raise through the rally and payroll deductions, the more people in our community get helped. We might as well have some fun while we’re doing it.

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