© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ways to help: Donations are needed year-round at the foodbank

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 18, 2010 - Though donations tend to spike in the fall around the holidays, the need for food never ebbs, say staffers at the St. Louis Area Foodbank. With summer approaching, they are gearing up for an increase in demand because children who usually participate in breakfast and lunch programs will be out of school and eating at home.

Here are some ways to help:

May 8: Stamp Out Hunger 

The National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive, the nation's largest single-day food drive on Saturday, May 8. Last year's drive collected a record-setting 73.4 million pounds of food. Watch your mailbox for details.

Birthday parties at the food bank

Give a birthday gift to the food bank, and then tour the facility located in Earth City, with family and friends. Bring your own cake. To schedule a day and time, contact Michael McLain, volunteer coordinator at (314) 292-5760 or mmclain@stlfoodbank.org.

Hold a food drive

People find creative ways to help. In lieu of birthday or anniversary gifts, some donors encourage their friends and family to contribute to the food bank. Others hold "virtual" drives on Facebook, encouraging people to send donation checks. If you want to hold a traditional food drive at church or work, the food bank will deliver and pick up collection barrels. For ideas and help with logistics, contact LaCasey Milton, food donations coordinator, at lmilton@stlfoodbank.org.


Volunteers are needed daily to repack, clean and sort donations in the food bank's repackaging center. Shifts are scheduled months in advance; no walk-ins. For information, contact volunteer coordinators Brett Moeller at bmoeller@stlfoodbank.org or Michael McLain mmclain@stlfoodbank.org.


Contributions can be sent to: St. Louis Area Foodbank, 70 Corporate Woods Drive, St. Louis, MO 63044

35 best items to donate

While the food bank appreciates donations of just about any nonperishable food, some items allow food pantries to round out their clients' nutritional and household needs. To note its 35th anniversary, the food bank has compiled this list of 35 items to donate:

1) canned tuna

2) canned chicken

3) canned fruit

4) canned beans

5) peanut butter

6) bottled jelly

7) canned soups

8) canned ravioli

9) boxed/bagged rice products

10) boxed/bagged pasta products

11) condiments/sauces in plastic containers

12) boxed complete meals

13) hot cereal

14) cold cereal

15) powdered milk

16) granola bars

17) breakfast/snack bars

18) boxed crackers

19) fruit snacks

20) canned vegetables

21) bottled juices

22) boxed juices

23) soap/lotion

24) canned chili

25) macaroni and cheese

26) instant mashed potatoes

27) shampoo/conditioner

28) toothbrushes

29) toothpaste

30) feminine products

31) baby body products

32) baby food in plastic containers

33) diapers

34) baby formula

35) toilet tissue

Contact Beacon staff writer Mary Delach Leonard.

Mary Delach Leonard Beacon staff

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined the St. Louis Beacon staff in April 2008 after a 17-year career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a reporter and an editor in the features section. Her work has been cited for awards by the Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors, the Missouri Press Association and the Illinois Press Association. In 2010, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis honored her with a Spirit of Justice Award in recognition of her work on the housing crisis. Leonard began her newspaper career at the Belleville News-Democrat after earning a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she now serves as an adjunct faculty member. She is partial to pomeranians and Cardinals.