Almost 17 percent of the 22,000 people served by Lemay-based food pantry Feed My People each year are seniors over the age of 60, a high-risk group for COVID-19.
Seniors living in poverty must often choose between medical care and food.
“Your financial gift will enable us to ensure that our elderly clients are not forced to make this decision,” Feed My People said in a request for donations.
Additional funds are available from the St. Louis Community Foundation for donations received between now and May 7, known as “Give STL Day.”
Donations can be made at: https://www.givestlday.org/Feed-My-People.
The 17-member staff and a hearty group of dedicated volunteers at Feed My People are stretching limited supplies – all at a safe distance — to meet the recent rise in demand for food and personal care items at its facilities in Lemay and High Ridge.
As one of St. Louis’ largest food pantries, Feed My People functions as a caring food safety net to about 375 families per week in South St. Louis County and northwestern Jefferson County who have lost jobs or live in poverty. Demand at area food banks is up about 30 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Precautions are in place to guard against spreading COVID-19, including pre-selecting and bagging groceries and personal care items, toilet paper included, as clients visit twice monthly to fill the gaps not met through unemployment benefits and food stamps.
Though Feed My People receives support from the St. Louis Area Foodbank, Operation Food Search, church food drives, area grocery stores and donors, more supplies and donations are needed.
Its two thrift stores help fund the purchase of needed supplies, but both are closed during the pandemic. A Paycheck Protection Program loan obtained with help from Midwest BankCentre will pay for about eight weeks of employee compensation, so all donations will directly fill the rising tide of community needs.
Greatly needed donations of food and personal care items are accepted Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at both 171 Kingston Drive, St. Louis, 63125, and at 3295 Ottomeyer Road, High Ridge.
Church and civic groups interested in organizing food drives are invited to call Stephanie Berberich at 314-631-4900, ext. 315. People in need may call Feed My People Monday-Friday mornings at Lemay (314-631-4900) or Tuesday-Saturday mornings at High Ridge (636-677-9885). Feed My People programs feature a comprehensive set of support services, including emergency and long-term food supplies, job counseling, personal development and more; see https://feed-my-people.org/fmp-programs/.
Feed My People was founded in 1982 by Carol and John DeGuire to serve previously unmet needs among the poor in South St. Louis County. It expanded to High Ridge in 1997 to serve needy residents of southwest St. Louis County and northwestern Jefferson County. Feed My People covers 16 ZIP codes from the Mississippi River to Pacific, Missouri, at the Franklin County line, and from Interstate 44 south to the Meramec River and beyond.
The most needed items at Feed My People are:
Food: Canned meats, soups and stews, canned vegetables, powdered milk, cereals hot and cold, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit and juices, pasta products and rice and beans.
Personal care items: Toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, hand or body soap, deodorant.