A key component of the Danforth Center’s mission is to feed the hungry and improve human health. Our research aims to address this grand challenge on a global scale by developing improved crops and sustainable agriculture practices. Recently the COVID-19 public health crisis created an opportunity for the Center to address food insecurity in our local community. Since the shelter-in-place order and pandemic has escalated, many families and individuals now find themselves in a situation where they lack safe and nutritional food. The closure of the Danforth Center’s Café provided an opportunity to help. Tam McGuire, director of events, quickly worked to make connections to local organizations and worked with the café team to coordinate inventory for delivery.

On March 27, the Center donated products which would have expired, to Operation Food Search, an organization that distributes $35 million of food and necessities in the Bi-State region.

On April 3, a second donation of fresh produce, cheese, meats, dairy, and eggs was delivered to the North Sarah Food Hub (NSFH).  Every day at the NSFH the incredible chefs and front of house staff with the Niche Food Group create meals to children who attended St. Louis Public Schools who now lack access to reliable lunches, and for seniors living in facilities struggling with issues related to staffing and other resources. They also provide groceries to hospitality workers who are unemployed under the shelter-in-place order. To date, the project has delivered 2000 meals to seniors, 1000 lunches to children and 70 bags of groceries.

We were humbled by the opportunity to help our community feed those in need during a challenging time for everyone,” said McGuire.