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Food originally meant for hurricane victims now helping the needy in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - Food that was once intended to help after hurricanes hit the United States last year is now helping at-risk people in St. Louis. Thanks to a phone tip, Restoration House St. Louis was able to secure more than 100,000 non-perishable meals for community groups in St. Louis.

The unused food was provided by FEMA for Florida hurricane victims. Tim Needham, the Executive Director Restoration House, was contacted by a U.S. Army chaplain asking him if he could coordinate an effort to get it to St. Louis.

“There were 40 semi-trucks full of food that were left down there and there was nothing they could do with them,” explained Needham.

Each truck had 20,000 prepackaged meat meals on them. So, Needham activated a network of people to work on getting the trucks distributed across the United States. Restoration House St. Louis was able to bring in five of the semis.

“All we had to do was come up with the costs to get it transported up here and then we could distribute to whoever we want.”

And the product is pretty good, with the pre-packaged meals containing things like pop-top cans of Chef Boyardee and Nutri-Gain bars. The contents of three trucks were given away on Sunday to local community and charitable organizations at no cost.

“My organization, Restoration House, committed to providing funds. It cost about $1,400 per semi-truck to get them here.”

The group is still about $1,500 short but working to secure the remaining balance.

"We have the remaining two trucks showing up tomorrow. Last 40,000 of the total 120,000 meals to charities and non-profits all around St. Louis."

If your organization would like some of the food or if you would like to help Restoration House St. Louis pay off the final costs, visit restorationhousestl.org.  Their next giveaway is Sunday, February 25, at 1:00pm.