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St. Louis area food pantries defy national supply chain issues

Food pantries across the country are reporting shortages, but two St. Louis area facilities say they're beating the odds

ST. LOUIS — Volunteers load one bag after another, adding boxes of goods into the back of Trishawn Foye's SUV. She's thankful for the car full of groceries with two teens at home and the holidays coming up.

"Oh my God. It's a blessing," she said.

Food pantries across the country are reporting shortages due to supply chain issues and higher prices at the grocery store, something Foye said she's seen firsthand.

"I've been to the grocery store, the only thing I can really do is pray and ask God for it," she said, adding "and he did it for me."

As quickly as they can send groceries out of the Caseyville United Methodist Church, they're taking more in. On Tuesday, a group from Crossroads Christian Church pulled up alongside Foye's car to make a donation.

With so much food coming in, volunteer Sandy Wessels said sending people home with two or three times as much food as they would regularly. 

"We need to move the product. We don't sit on it and save it for harder times. This is a hard time for a lot of families," Wessels said.

The Jefferson Barracks pantry is likewise stocked full, with director Linda Ferguson calling their rebound over the last year "astounding."

"I am very surprised," Ferguson said. "I was worried because we are coming out of the pandemic, and we don't know if people are able to give. It was very scary. But it's been just the opposite for us."

Ferguson said their food pantry is doing so well that they have an entire room for surplus items and could soon have another issue: not enough space.

When they open for their next pickup day on Nov. 20, Ferguson said they expect to serve between 85 and 100 veterans and active military members. She said some people who were visiting for pickups just months ago are now dropping off donations. 

"It’s wonderful," she said. "It’s absolutely wonderful to know that we can give out more than we normally would and the variety that we have. It’s just fabulous."

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