Local charities report unprecedented need for food

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Food donations at Loaves and Fishes for St. Louis don’t remain inside their building for long. Executive Director Jacki MacIntosh said the food pantry and homeless shelter is seeing an unprecedented level of need.

“Our fear is that we haven’t even reached peak of this yet,” she said.

MacIntosh said, in some cases, clients have recently lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

“I think that it’s only going to continue to get worse,” she said. “People need jobs.”

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has organized several mass food giveaways that produced long lines of area residents seeking help.

“Families that were once middle class have collapsed and are now amongst the working poor; many are now unemployed,” said James Clark, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis vice president. “Schools are now closed, so children are not able to get that breakfast and lunch that they were normally able to get.”

The Urban League is organizing another mass food donation for Dec. 19 on the parking lot of the old Sears building at 1408 N. Kingshighway in north St. Louis.

Six days a week the Urban League sends food to the sick and elderly. The agency has also delivered food to 75 churches in some of St. Louis’s most impoverished neighborhoods and has partnered with the City of St. Louis to deliver food to recreation centers.

“We are looking at how we can calibrate and what kind of infrastructure we can put in place to get the food to the families that need the food right now,” Clark said.

MacIntosh hopes the St. Louis community will rally to help.

“This is the perfect time for us to do that,” she said. “It’s something that can be a positive from this pandemic.”

For more information about helping Loaves and Fishes for St. Louis, you can visit https://loavesandfishes-stl.org/.

For more information about helping the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, you can visit https://www.ulstl.com/.

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