ST. LOUIS – Food insecurity remains a major concern for many St. Louis families. However, the city’s newest pro-sports team, St. Louis City SC, is doing its part to fight it. Players, coaches, and staff stepped up to pack more than 1,600 meals on Wednesday.
“Ahead of our home opener, it’s important for us to get connected to the community,” said Tim Parker, a defender for City SC.
The stuffed bags of food will go to Operation Food Search’s Operation Backpack, which provide sacks of food on Fridays for kids across the region to take home over the weekend.
“One in six kids goes to bed not knowing when their next meal will come the next day. So, we really, really appreciate this partnership,” said Kristen Wild, president and CEO of Operation Food Search.
The support doesn’t end there. The team and MLS Works, the league’s social responsibility platform, also donated funds to pay for 46,000 additional meals. City SC will also be an Operation Food Search food rescue partner, working to eliminate food waste at CITYPARK stadium.
“They are going to be diverting about three thousand pounds of food at the end of the game that would otherwise be wasted,” Wild said. “That’s going to come to Operation Food Search, and we’re going to be able to distribute it to food insecure families.”
The players made the food packing event a bit of a competition but also noted the importance of giving back.
“We as athletes are fortunate. The support we get from the fans. The support we get from the community. And it’s been amazing,” said Joshua Yaro, a defender for City SC. “So, for us, this is a small way of saying thank you to the community that has given us so much over the past year.”
“As a new club in a new city, for some of us, that we’re able to give back and connect in ways that we may not have been able to otherwise,” Parker said.
St. Louis City SC will play their first home match at CITYPark stadium on Saturday, March 4.