CoronavirusNewsThe NorthSider

County invests more than $10.5 million in CARES funding to ease food insecurity

ST. LOUIS COUNTY – The county reports that it has spent more than $10 million it received through the federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, to help feed vulnerable residents during the pandemic.

“This pandemic has taken its toll on many of our families,” County Executive Dr. Sam Page said this week in a statement. “This funding for food distribution was vital to the public health and safety of our  community, and I’m proud of the work done by the County and our partners to get resources to those who needed them the most.” 

From May 2020 to January 2021, St. Louis County awarded CARES funding to community partners, as listed below, to help families get food: 

  • • Operation Food Search: $4,722,406 
  • • St. Louis Area Food Bank: $2,605,750 
  • • Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis: $1,425,000 
  • • HOSCO Shift: $1,223,471.71 
  • • NAACP/ARCHS: $465,188 
  • • The Link Market: $110,000 
  • • PotBangers: $24,835.68

The groups reported that up to 75 percent of people who came to them for food pantry during the pandemic did so for the first time.  

Operation Food Search was one of the first to get CARES funding. It set up weekly, free meals at distribution sites across the county, including 10 public schools and 10  libraries.

“People came to these events who have never come to a food pantry before,” said Brian Wieher, Director of Child and Family Nutrition at Operation Food Search. “I couldn’t be more thankful  that the county government reached out and did this for St. Louis County. They helped, and it  really meant a lot.” 

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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