HISTORY OF ST. LOUIS WORLD FOOD DAY, INC.
World Food Day is a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and informed year-round action to alleviate hunger. It is observed in recognition of the establishment of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945.
In October 2010, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center organized the first St. Louis food packaging event to commemorate World Food Day and 350,000 meals were assembled in a two-day period. The following year, in 2011, over 500,000 meals were assembled. Plans for the commemoration began in earnest but, due to organizational changes at the Center, the event was cancelled in July 2012.
Donald Soffer, a member of the Danforth Center’s Junior Board, had helped execute the 2010 and 2011 World Food Day events. Disappointed that the 2012 commemoration had been cancelled, he and his family decided to keep the event going and founded St. Louis World Food Day, Inc. in July 2012.
In support of the 2012 St. Louis World Food Day event, John Burroughs School donated the use of its Field House as the packaging center. On October 12th, over 1,500 people attended, assembling 250,000 rice/soy protein meals in a single day. Our partner, Outreach Program, distributed the food packets to a school-based feeding program in Tanzania.
In 2013, in addition to sending emergency food relief to Africa, the St. Louis World Food Day event expanded to alleviate hunger locally. More than 1,600 St. Louisans participated and together they assembled 370,000 meals. Our local partner, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, distributed 160,000 meals throughout the region, while our international partner, Outreach Program, delivered 200,000+ meals to the same school-based feeding program in Tanzania. Since 2012, the year St. Louis World Food Day, Inc. was established as a 501c3 organization, thousands of St. Louisans have joined together in community service assembling over 1.6 million meals to help feed people in need.
Check out the St. Louis World Food Day Image Gallery.