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Catholic Charities of St. Louis and Operation Food Search Hold Food Distribution Event
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Catholic Charities of St. Louis and Operation Food Search Hold Food Distribution Event

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Catholic Charities of St. Louis food distribution event

Pictured from left to right are Catholic Charities of St. Louis board member Kathy Surratt-States and supporter Gerard Hempstead placing food and supplies into the trunk of a drive-through distribution participant's car."

Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, partnered with Catholic Charities of St. Louis along with Sysco St. Louis to host their first free drive-through emergency meal and supply distribution partnership on May 16.  The joint effort took place at Catholic Charities headquarters located at 4445 Lindell Blvd. 

 

The event served more than 450 local families.  Catholic Charities provided gift cards, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies, as well as hand sanitizers and face masks.  Sysco St. Louis contributed a variety of food items including fresh produce, dairy, cheese and juice.  Operation Food Search provided meat, cheese, sandwiches and cleaning supplies.  The National Guard was on hand to assist volunteers from both Catholic Charities and OFS who placed food into the participant’s cars.  St. Louis Police Department helped with traffic control.

 

“We are pleased to be able to combine our resources and experience with Operation Food Search and Sysco to connect people with a variety of basic necessities," said Theresa Ruzicka, President, Catholic Charities of St. Louis. "It’s core to our overall mission of serving people in need and just one part of our coordinated COVID-19 relief efforts.”   

 

“We are grateful to both Catholic Charities and Sysco for joining forces with us in providing hunger relief to the region,” said Kristen Wild, Executive Director at OFS.  “We are currently serving families who have never experienced food insecurity, so distribution partnerships like this have made great strides in alleviating the overwhelming stress that is associated with the ongoing pandemic.”  Wild added that the “rate of food insecurity in the State of Missouri was 14 percent before the pandemic and now sits at 41 percent.” 

 

Operation Food Search

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides free food, nutrition education and innovative programs proven to reduce food insecurity. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families and increases access to healthy and affordable food. The agency provides food and services to nearly 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of whom are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 30 Missouri and Illinois counties.  For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit www.OperationFoodSearch.org.

 

Catholic Charities of St. Louis

Catholic Charities of St. Louis has been helping people in need since 1912.  Organized as a federation of eight agencies, in 2019 Catholic Charities services impacted more than 103,000 people.  Catholic Charities serves 11 counties in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  The Catholic Charities Central Office provides advocacy, centralized administration, accreditation, human resources, communications, quality assurance and fund development for the federated agencies.  For more information, call (314) 367-5500 or visit www.ccstl.org.

 

Sysco

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home.  Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries.  The company operates more than 320 distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 650,000 customer locations.  For more information about Systco St. Louis, call (636) 940-9230 or visit www.sysco.com.

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