As we enter 2012—our 24th year, we pause and reflect on the critical work we do in the St. Louis community. Food Outreach continues to be one of the most innovative charitable organizations when forging new relationships and doing everything possible to make sure people living with HIV/AIDS or cancer have one less thing on their plate—access to proper nutrition and healthy meals. We have been stewards of your contributions and looked at every budget line item to see where we can cut costs—including food and employee benefits. But clients can still receive as many as two meals each and every day. It is all about the clients first and foremost.
Did you know that according to the British Journal on HIV Medicine (January 2007) a person put on HIV drugs AND malnourished is 6 times more likely to die than someone in treatment who has nutritional health?
Or that early nutrition screening and assessment can improve a cancer patient's response to therapies and reduce treatment complication (National Cancer Institute, May 2009)? More people than ever are hungry and trying to survive these dreaded diseases, espeically in the St. Louis area. Leading a non-profit, you always have to look for those silver linings. I truly believe that community involvement—your involvement—will be the difference between our clients eating well or not eating at all. You wouldn’t be involved with Food Outreach if you didn’t have the passion for our vital work in both Missouri and Illinois.
It’s true donations haven’t kept up with demand, but we still have the tradition of serving everyone who comes to our doors.
This past year we have nurtured a relationship with Schnucks Specialty Pharmacy where they have a pharmacist at Food Outreach for 25 hours a week—whenever the Nutrition Center is open. Clients can ask these medical professionals questions about treatment issues and better understand the role our food plays in effectiveness, adherence and tolerance of medications.
We have the philosophy of resourcefulness, always looking for opportunities AND never harping on what we don’t have. With that thinking, we are able to add more people around the Food Outreach table—clients and donors alike.
If you are a current supporter, thank you for laying the groundwork for us to continue to be the premier nutrition support provider for people battling either HIV/AIDS or cancer. Your commitment to the less fortunate and sense of social responsibility have made our mission possible. I am forever grateful for all your contributions to ensure our clients don’t have to experience the unthinkable combination of hunger and life-threatening disease.
If you aren’t currently in the Food Outreach family, I hope you take time to get to know us. There is always room for another person at our table.
We act out of urgency because hunger with illness cannot wait.
I remain, sincerely yours,