MLS WORKS and St. Louis CITY SC Donate Over 46,000 Meals to Combat Hunger in St. Louis
MLS WORKS and St. Louis CITY SC are donating funds to pay for over 46,000 meals for people at risk for hunger to Operation Food Search as part of a food kit packing event with St. Louis CITY SC players, coaches, and staff ahead of their inaugural match at CITYPARK on March 4. The donation honors STL CITY and Operation Food Search’s partnership to address food insecurity and reduce food waste in the St. Louis region. During the event on March 1, STL CITY players packed over 1,600 meals in backpacks for children to take home to their families over the weekend.
“Here at St. Louis CITY, we are building a culture of community involvement, including our players, coaches, and front office,” said St. Louis CITY SC Director of Community Relations Barbra Silva. “With Operation Food Search and MLS WORKS, we want to support and commend students who are helping their families by bringing food home. Whether it’s on the pitch, in the stadium or in our homes, being part of a team means being there for one another.”
Food insecurity remains a major concern for many St. Louis families, especially with rising food prices and inflation. Operation Food Search’s child nutrition program, Operation Backpack, works with 355 schools and community sites across the region to provide sacks of food on Fridays for kids to take home over the weekend. This food assistance helps relieve both emotional and economic stress for the family and provides more than 500,000 meals every year. Operation Food Search is the official food rescue partner of St. Louis CITY SC, and over 3000 pounds of food from CITYPARK will be diverted to area food banks after every home match as part of CITY SC’s Our CITY sustainability platform.
“Kids look up to professional athletes, but it’s amazing for them to know CITY players and MLS look up to them too for helping their families,” said Operation Food Search President and CEO Kristen Wild. “With this donation, we will be able to generate over $150,000 in food and services, which equals 46,000 meals for local families, in addition to all the donated food rescued after home matches. We want to thank MLS WORKS and St. Louis CITY SC for their commitment to helping address the ongoing issue of food insecurity in our region.”
“We recognize the responsibility of our enterprise to protect the environmental well-being of the communities where we live and play our games,” said MLS Vice President of Social Responsibility Jan Greenberg Mirman. “St. Louis CITY SC and Operation Food Search’s innovative partnership is another great example of how MLS teams are working to help create cleaner, healthier communities “We‘re proud to partner on this initiative and showcase the positive impact our newest expansion team has been making in the community even before their first home match.”
Through MLS WORKS, the Leagues social responsibility platform. Major League Soccer is committed to taking steps to address its environmental impact and raise awareness for sustainability issues in our local communities.