ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – The COVID-19 pandemic took a major toll on the St. Louis Area Food Bank.
“We saw our numbers skyrocket, said St. Louis Area Food Bank President Meredith Knopp. “We’re talking about an almost 46 percent increase over what we were already doing in terms of distribution. So, it really put a lot of stress and strain on the system, especially when our logistics were disrupted, people didn’t have food to donate the grocery shelves. If you remember, this time last year, a lot of times were bare.”
Hearing those numbers, Clayton Mayor Michelle Harris, had an idea.
“It occurred to me that ‘Hey, we should do a food drive here in Clayton’ and I starting thinking about it and thought, ‘Why don’t I get together with all of the other mayors and do something much bigger and have a bigger impact?'”, Harris said.
They call it the “Mayors for Meals” food drive. Last year, the first year, they collected 53,000 pounds of food. This year, the goals are even higher.
“Well we have a lot more sites this year, we have over 30 municipalities across the St. Louis area, so we are hoping to double that this year,” Knopp said. “We’ve set some pretty lofty goals, so we will see how we do.”
If you missed the mayors for meals event on Saturday, there is still a way to give back.
“Come out and volunteer with us at our site out in Bridgeton,” said Knopp. “We need volunteers to take all of this food for example, go through it, inspect it, and get it into boxes so we can get it out to our network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and agencies, and get it to the people who need it most.”