St. Louis, MO, May 26, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- A St. Louis summer meal program just received a much-needed boost that will make a monumental difference in the lives of food insecure children.
Operation Food Search (OFS), a local relief organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger and family food insecurity in the St. Louis bi-state region, was recently awarded $28,744 from the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust. The money will be used to support OFS’ mobile summer meals program, which is part of the agency’s five-year-old Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust (EPHT) represents a diocesan commitment shared by the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy to the St. Louis region. The two denominations first partnered to support St. Luke’s Hospital in 1948 and, since that time, their work has demonstrated how jointly pursuing their missions and ministries can create extraordinary change for the community.
This is the second year OFS’ summer program has utilized mobile vans, and it will be the first year the expanded service will distribute meals at 33 locations. Designed to feed children 18 years of age and younger, the no-cost mobile service is available Mon. through Fri. from June 5 through Aug. 11. Children will also engage in fun activities that stimulate young minds and bodies, as well as encourage positive peer interactions. OFS will hold complimentary community pop-up pantries, which will provide supplies and instructions for families to prepare healthy, delicious meals over the weekend, on the mobile meals route.
The mobile summer meals program targets children losing school year access to breakfasts and lunches provided by the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, which equates to 10 meals per week per child. As a result, the food budget during summer months for low-income families rises by $300, or nearly $1,000, over a three-month period.
“This grant will greatly support our mobile meal’s model, which is a game changer for children living in high need, low resource communities,” said Operation Food Search Executive Director Sunny Schaefer. “These children are more vulnerable to hunger and summer learning loss since they have little access to camps or organized learning opportunities. We do our best to help them stay fed and remain mentally challenged throughout the summer.”
Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties. OFS is headquartered at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355.