By: Marin Williams
It is hard to believe our group is already halfway through our service portion of The Gap Semester. This past week in St. Louis has been uber eventful. Every one of us received our green thumbs from working in urban school gardens. We went to a Cardinals baseball game, the first MLB game some of us have ever been to. We were able to see some of the attractions St. Louis had to offer like the Gateway Arch, the City Museum, and local farmers market.
One of my highlights this week was volunteering at Operation Food Search on Tuesday. The organization received donated food and distributed it to people in the community in need. They told us about the variety of people they serve, ranging from veterans to elementary school kids. Our tasks were to sort through food donations and create meals for students enrolled in elementary school. Our group was able to package 1,553 meals. This food was distributed to children on Fridays for them to have over the weekend. Operation Food Search provided meals every weekend for these kids throughout the school year. In addition this organization taught local cooking classes on how to create healthy meals on a budget to low-income families.
St. Louis faces many problems concerning food availability. Lower income families do not have as much access to fresh produce because of the price. This often is a contributing factor to why obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are strongly correlated with income. The work Operation Food Search was doing was really valuable to the communities of St. Louis because they provided the education and tools needed to live a healthier nutritious lifestyle.