Operation Food Search (OFS), a hunger relief organization that provides food to the area’s hungry, recently announced the public phase of its food insecurity campaign, “The Campaign to End Childhood Hunger in the St. Louis Region.”
OFS has already raised $6,388,000 of its $7 million capital campaign goal, leaving only $612,000 remaining. The funds will focus on expanding the organization’s nutrition education services, providing community education about the area’s hunger problem, and increasing capacity building with its agency network. In addition, the campaign allows for the purchase of more freezer, cooler and racking space to store food and supplies.
The main goal of the capital campaign is to grow OFS’ ability to stop the damaging cycle that food insecurity produces. Hunger strains the region’s education and negatively affects health outcomes with one in four children – approximately 173,000 children – in the 31 counties in Missouri and Illinois plus the city of St. Louis being at risk.
The public phase was recently announced at OFS’ grand opening of its new 67,000-square-foot headquarters located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. in Overland, Mo. More than 150 individuals and charitable partners and agencies were on hand for the public phase kickoff.
Rene Knott, KSDK NewsChannel 5 news anchor, served as the Master of Ceremonies. Program speakers included Carolyn Kindle Betz, VP and Executive Director of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation; Albert Mitchell, President of the Monsanto Fund and VP of Communications, Monsanto, and; Jackie Yoon, Bank of America St. Louis Market President. Michael Kupstas, OFS Board Chairman and Sunny Schaefer, OFS Executive Director, thanked guests for their generosity and commitment to tackle the hunger issue together.
The Bank of America, Crawford Taylor Foundation and Enterprise Holdings, Emerson, and Monsanto were among several corporations and foundations to make leadership gifts to the campaign. Additional contributors include Dana Brown Charitable Trust; Byrne & Jones; Edward Jones; Interco Charitable Trust; Hussman Corporation; William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee; Robert J. Lieber Charitable Trust; PARIC Corporation; SoTel Systems; Norman J. Stupp Foundation; Trio Foundation of St. Louis, and; Warehouse of Fixtures. The campaign also attracted a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor. Two challenge grants totaling $700,000 were committed by an anonymous national grant maker, as well as from The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Operation Food Search is delighted by the success of the campaign to date, and now we are turning to the community to help us achieve our remaining goal,” said Operation Food Search Executive Director Sunny Schaefer. “Our vision is to transform the way our organization and our network of more than 330 member agencies resolves childhood hunger and family food insecurity in the bi-state region. Working together we can improve nutrition, education and health outcomes.”
Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food.
OFS helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties, as well as in the city of St. Louis.
For more information, call or visit http://www.OperationFood