Food pantry in Carondelet neighborhood needs donations

6:55 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Carondelet Community Betterment Federation food bank needs help

Video: Local food pantry needs your donations

  • Carondelet Community Betterment Federation's food pantry donation drop off.
  • The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation needs donations for its food pantry.
  • Empty shelves on August 1

St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation is in need of donations for its food pantry.

The federation said it has had a 52-percent increase for food requests in the past month.

People who want to help can drop off donations at the federation located at 6408 Michigan Ave. in the Carondelet neighborhood.  Donations can be brought to the main entrance of the building with the blue awning at the intersection of Michigan and Holly Hills.

Executive Director Sister Mary Ann Nestel makes the case.

"Unbelievably, right now this is what our freezer looks like.  Completely empty," she said.  "We have given out everything we know how to give out.  With this hot weather, it's really challenging.  We've had a tremendous increase of people coming in asking for help, asking for food.  Let's go into the other room."

She continued.

"This is our food pantry.  I'd like to show you this.  This is where we store the food.  All of these three shelves should be full of commodities from USDA.  As you can see, we have nothing left."

Nestel walked across the room to another stack of shelves.

"This is all we have left.  So how can a family make a meal out of cans of pumpkin, cherry dressing, cranberry sauce, and beans?  We have a lot of gravy, that's all gravy.  That some of our soups.  But we need stuff with protein; we need Hamburger Helper, ravioli, chili, things with protein."

Nestel said CCBF helps anywhere from 15 families a day to 50 a week.

"And these are the working poor," she said, "not the users and abusers.  This is the working poor; people who never thought they would have to come to us for help, and now they have to.  And sometimes they're embarrassed.  Can you imagine a mother coming in and asking just for toilet paper?  Because that's what her biggest need was.  Or asking for a light bulb because they move it from one room to the other?  I'm grateful to channel 5 for giving us this opportunity."

State Farm insurance agent Jake Schillinger, who has an office on South Grand, is one of the people who stopped by with a donation Wednesday afternoon.  Schillinger brought a check for $100.

"Oh, Jake, you are so generous to us," said Nestel.  "We really need this help with our food pantry."

"Glad to do it," said Shillinger.

"God bless you," said Nestel.  She added, "And State Farm is always there!"

Donors can stop Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Their mailing address is:

Carondelet Community Betterment Federation (CCBF)
6408 Michigan Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63111

People can also drop off donations of food items right next door, at a tavern called Red's 8th Inning. Owner Linda Blackwell said they are open from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m, and she is happy to have CCBF in the neighborhood.


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