OVERLAND, Mo. – With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, nearly 1,000 families in the St. Louis metro were gifted a complete holiday meal, thanks to Schnucks and Operation Food Search.
Families lined their cars up along the Schnucks parking lot Friday for carefully-assembled bags containing items to help feed families this Thanksgiving.
“All the ingredients for a full Thanksgiving dinner,” said Kristen Wil, CEO of Operation Food Search.
It may not be your typical roll call, but for many, it’s necessary this November. As food prices continue to rise, so does the need for help.
“I’ve just retired, so it’s harder for me,” said Katrinka Coleman, one of many who lined up for the meals.
Coleman recently retired from the post office. She says caring for her and her disabled sister has been hard.
“We’ve all felt the price of inflation across a lot of areas,” said Stacy Brandt, Vice President of Operations at Schnucks.
This is the fourth year in which Schnucks and Operation Food Search have teamed up for the meals. Leaders want to focus on areas that need it the most.
“Unfortunately, the need is high. Food insecurity in the state of Missouri ranges between 12 and 15 percent,” said Wil.
Stacy Brandt has worked for Schnucks for the last 26 years. She says grocery prices go up about 12 percent every year.
“These are the days that you leave feeling so fulfilled, just to see the gratitude and excitement on people’s faces,” said Brandt.
Countless volunteers in their green gear distributed turkeys, treats, and even locally grown produce. The diversity in duties is not only rewarding to them but also a relief to others.
“All the volunteers, it’s amazing,” said Coleman. “We’re going to have an amazing Thanksgiving. This is beautiful.”
All Thanksgiving dinners were dished out in a span of nearly an hour.