Jewish Food Pantry celebrates 30th anniversary, has seen sharp rise in need for services

Harvey+Cantor+volunteers+at+the+Harvey+Kornblum+Jewish+Food+Pantry%2C+which+is+celebrating+its+30th+anniversary.

Harvey Cantor volunteers at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry served 21,500 individuals in 2020, a 30% increase over the prior year. In addition, the food pantry, which is a service provided by Jewish Family Services (JFS), recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.   

Located at 10601 Baur Blvd., the pantry is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no appointment needed. Individuals and families receive 10 days’ worth of food every month including fresh produce, dairy, bread and shelf-stable items. Since the onset of the pandemic, the pantry has adopted a drive-through distribution model to maintain the health and safety of its clients, staff and more than 200 volunteers.   

“We hope the pandemic has diminished the stigma of relying on a food pantry because now it’s your neighbor and even your family members seeking help during this very trying time,” said Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry Director Erica Steen. “In this new reality, we are assisting more guests who have never utilized a pantry. We are fortunate to be able to serve our community both now and throughout the past 30 years.”  

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JFS, which provides mental health and social services for all St. Louisans, created the food pantry in 1991 when it began serving 40 families. 

The pantry relies on monetary donations, private food drives, grocer donations and monthly food allocations from the USDA, Operation Food Search, and the St. Louis Area Foodbank. 

According to Steen, “We believe the need for food assistance will remain high, which is why we will continue providing aid to those who are seeking relief while facing ongoing challenges.” Founded in 1871, JFS is a multiservice nonprofit that supports families and seniors, alleviates hunger, and improves mental health for all St. Louisans. 

The organization serves individuals and families in crisis, as well as helps seniors remain independent and connected to the community. JFS supports the emotional and physical well-being of more than 50,000 area children, families, and seniors annually. 

For more information, call 314-993-1000 or visit jfsstl.org.