Operation Food Search Receives $1.3 Million Grant from St. Louis County

Funds will assist children and families during upcoming summer months

St. Louis, MO (STL.News) St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced today that Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, will receive a $1.3 million grant to assist with its summer meals program.  The grant is made possible by the St. Louis County’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

Beginning June 1 through the end of Aug., OFS will offer free meals at St. Louis County partner distribution sites that include 10 public library branches and 10 public school districts.  Library branches include Bridgeton Trails, Florissant Valley, Indian Trails, Jamestown Bluffs, Lewis & Clark, Natural Bridge, Prairie Commons, Rock Road, and Weber Road.

At this morning’s news conference, Page said the grants will help those in need have more access to food because “no child should have to go hungry.”

According to OFS’s Executive Director Kristen Wild, who spoke at the news conference, the “rate of food insecurity in the State of Missouri was 14 percent before the pandemic.  It currently sits at 41 percent.”  Wild added that OFS is “thrilled to receive this funding from the county through the CARES Act and excited to supplement our current child meal program by providing meals to adults and full families” at various distribution sites.

This year marks OFS’s ninth year as a sponsor of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the USDA and ensures that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.  OFS will expand this meal service capacity based upon the current climate and the CARES Act funding.  Partnerships with the rural community, libraries and schools will utilize a drive-through model with shelf-stable food.  OFS also will offer mobile meal vans for food distribution.