A Letter from our Executive Director

Julie Lock

Your generosity has enabled Food Outreach to make a very positive difference in the lives of our neighbors living with chronic illnesses. Because of supporters like you, 518,878 meals were delivered to 1,757 individuals living with economic and medical fragility in 2022. More community members than ever before are relying on us to help them manage their illnesses, with the number of medically tailored meals we delivered increasing by 48% from a year ago.

This is the new normal we are navigating. And unfortunately, it is one where nutrition insecurity and related disparities continue to rise. We have known for decades that the underlying conditions linked to these inequities have left under-invested communities at the greatest risk for chronic illness and death.

At Food Outreach, we are tackling these issues head-on through our nutrition-supporting programs and innovative partnerships. Our new collaboration with DOORWAYS (featured in this month’s newsletter) focuses on improving the health and well-being of individuals living the HIV. Our medically tailored meals program is one example of nutrition as a  medicinal intervention. Research consistently shows that medically tailored meals improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and increase patient satisfaction. We believe no person should worry about whether they will have nutritious food on their plate or a roof over their head.

As the only community-based organization in Missouri and western Illinois that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals for individuals living with chronic illnesses in our community, we play a central role in the growing ‘Nutrition is Medicine’ movement. For more than 35 years, we have been at the forefront of advancing the idea that nutrition can be a vital and holistic part of an individual’s wellness and medical treatment plan.

With 2023 comes new Board leadership. Food Outreach is thrilled to welcome Jessica Bira, Ruthie Vaughn, and Jerry Garbutt to its board of directors. The expertise of our board will guide our endeavors as we embark on the year ahead and the impact we will all have collectively in strengthening our community. I am filled with gratitude for all of you who continue to support our work. You fuel our mission, making it possible for us to provide nutrition served with love to our neighbors living with life-altering illnesses.

With the utmost gratitude,

Julie Lock

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