With your generous support, Food Outreach has become the St. Louis nutrition expert in feeding men, women, and children trying to survive a life threatening disease. From our humble beginnings in 1988, when we fed seven clients, we now feed more than 2,100 people who live as far away as 200 miles from our facility. Medical advancements have given our clients a better quality of life, but for some they are in the later stages of diseases. Transportation can be quite a burden. Some are too sick to leave their homes. Some clients are just too frail to lift their bags of food. Picking up meals between doctor visits isn’t very convenient – where would one store packages in the meantime? Hauling heavy sacks of groceries isn’t the easiest thing to do on public transportation. And some clients live in areas where public transportation isn’t even accessible.
We started a formal meal home delivery program in 2002, whereas before we depended on volunteers to make the connection. We still have some volunteers, but hiring a staff member to handle most of the requests made it more convenient for clients since we could deliver meals more often, during weekdays and honor requests for emergency food deliveries. In this newsletter, you learn about Charlie Burnett, our current Van Driver. He is a lifeline for many of our homebound clients—the only person they see. He also gives information about other basic services clients may need.
Another milestone was our pilot program back in 2005 with the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Jewish Hospital. One of our traditions is that we have never had a waiting list, and that will be the goal moving forward. Every client has a story. In this issue of the newsletter you are introduced to Victoria. Her story is valiant and heart wrenching. Even when we gave cancer clients a place at our table, we didn’t take anything away from our existing HIV/AIDS clients.
In speaking with several of you over the years, one message is consistent: We believe that as a team, we exhibit considerable passion for the mission of caring for the sick and the hungry, and demonstrate unusual integrity in our business operation and fundraising efforts. We have many community partners who help raise funds and awareness. This is the fourth year of the Financial Food Fight, which is the brainchild of Wells Fargo Advisors and saves several thousands of dollars each year.
We are the stewards of Food Outreach’s mission and programming. Over the past 26 years, we have created something quite extraordinary in its passion, integrity and effectiveness. It is our obligation now to be foresighted and proactive in perpetuating this mission for the years ahead, or we risk losing this rich community asset.
Through the years, we always want to give you a return on your investment. Your investment creates a safe haven as people are trying to continue having a quality of life. We have learned how to stretch our donation dollars. Through April, we provided 10,000 more meals than during the same period in 2013, while spending less money on food. We continue to think of ways to meet the needs of a growing number of clients without sacrificing any quality or quantity. Together, our aim is to be the best-run nonprofit agency in metropolitan St. Louis where your generosity touches as many lives as possible.
I remain, sincerely yours,