A MESSAGE FROM JULIE POLE

our Executive Director

Equity is the idea that all individuals are able to get what they need to succeed in all areas of life, including health, safety, housing, education and employment. Inequities are created when barriers prevent individuals and communities from accessing these key areas in order to reach their full potential.

Food Outreach remains the only organization in the region, within hundreds of miles, providing access to nutrition services to our neighbors and community members struggling with HIV/AIDS or cancer and hunger.  Our nutrition center provides tangible and vital food, in the form of two meals a day for two weeks at a time, to each of our clients. Our registered dietitian meets with clients privately to hear their challenges and concerns about their health, their hopes, and their wellness goals, and to explore crucial details such as the last time they ate a meal, whether they have ever shopped for groceries in a place other than a food pantry, their ability to access healthy food in their neighborhoods, and other complications they might face if they are also fighting other common illnesses such as depression, diabetes and heart or kidney conditions.

Our ability to provide all of our services rests on the interdependence between our full-time staff of 9 people and a network of support from a large community of hundreds of individual volunteers and team members from many local business and religious organizations.  This network of volunteers and donors is united in devotion to our clients.  Our volunteers and staff consistently give their work and energy to serve each client with respect and compassion, and to ensure that our clients feel welcome and safe.

Having control over what and when we eat remains a privilege.  For the majority of our clients, access to food that nourishes their bodies and fights their illnesses is rare. Moreover, shopping for their food in a welcoming environment and receiving education and building awareness with compassionate service is nearly unheard of.  Our clients experience the dignity of choice each time they select their food from a menu prepared by our executive chef and dietitian.

Food Outreach, a small building in mid-town St. Louis, welcomes all of our clients no matter where they live, whom they love or what illnesses they are battling. In our three decades of service, our clients have never been charged for our services.  Through a prescriptive of healthy meals, our clients build their strength through nutrition, affirmation and compassion. We are proud that our unique services address issues around access and equity in the St. Louis Region.  I invite you to visit our website or our building to experience something extraordinary unfolding each day we are open.

With much appreciation,

Julie

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