HUNGER IN WELLSTON
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced an economic crisis unlike anything we have ever seen.
Businesses have closed, jobs have been lost, and families have been impacted which have all created a significant need in our communities.
Food insecurity was a significant challenge facing our community before the pandemic.
In 2018, St. Louis County had a food insecurity rate of 10.9%. As a result of COVID-19, the food insecurity rate is estimated to increase to 15.7%.
Families are struggling to stretch their incomes to cover basic needs. Traditional government programs like WIC and SNAP aren't enough to help families.
Here at the Wellston Center, we are changing that.
SNAPSHOT OF WELLSTON
WHAT IS FOOD INSECURITY?
Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.
Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods
health and hunger
It has been found that food insecurity can lead to many chronic diseases.
Food insecurity is associated with higher probability of many chronic diseases including, but not limited to, hypertension, heart disease, hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, COPD, and kidney disease.
Low wages. Fixed incomes that are not keeping up with rising costs of living. Poverty. Health issues. Wellston has 46.4% persons below the poverty line.
The combination of financial stress, consuming energy dense foods, and a cyclical eating pattern create the perfect formula for disease development.
The effects of food insecurity may impact the health of many, but children and seniors are among the most vulnerable.
As an outreach food pantry, The Wellston Center serves between 300 and 400 families per month.
We also provide access to basis essentials, such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, diapers, and other small toiletries that are otherwise not available to our clients and are not accessible using SNAP benefits.
With additional programming, such as health education and utility assistance, we strive to make a sustainable, holistic impact in the community.
To improve the lives of families and support the vibrancy of the Wellston community, our work everyday focuses on connecting the issues of food insecurity, health, poverty, and opportunity.
It is God's work we do, but we do not do it alone.