Mid-America Transplant Announces $60,000 in Healthy Food Distribution Grants to Improve Health, Reduce the Need for Transplantation

Posted August 3, 2015 in News Category

anniemalone-021750x500The Mid-America Transplant charitable foundation recently awarded six one-time grants of $10,000 to nonprofit organizations in St. Louis or Springfield, Missouri. for projects aimed at increasing healthy food distributed to food pantries. These grants further invest in our communities through wellness programs, as the foundation seeks to reduce incidences of chronic health conditions that can lead to organ failure.

“Our foundation is committed to sharing our expertise and resources with the community to strengthen and improve the health of the people we serve,” MTS CEO and President Dean F. Kappel said. “We’re excited to see how these projects address community health issues and increase access to fresh produce and healthy food options that we all need.”

The award winners are Affton (Missouri) Christian Food Pantry, St. Nicholas Food Pantry in St. Louis, AGAPE Ministry of Warren County (Missouri), Springfield (Missouri) Community Gardens, Senior Services Plus, Inc. in Alton (Illinois), and Epworth Children and Family Services in St. Louis. These organizations presented programs and projects that will impact the communities they serve.

This is the second round of community grants made available by the MTS foundation in 2015. Eighteen one-time grants of $5,000 were awarded in April to nonprofit groups with a focus on reducing childhood obesity.      

Award Winners

Affton Christian Food Pantry Take and Eat Healthy Meals Program
ACFP’s Take and Eat Healthy Meals Program is in need of a commercial grade freezer, in which it will store meals for 400-plus family visits per month. The grant will cover costs of raw ingredients and freezer-safe containers. The organization has a plan to secure funding for future years for on-going costs for the program. ACFP will survey clients at the 2-, 6- and 12-month mark to collect data on frequency of program participation, what meals clients prefer, what requests they may have, and what nutritional needs they have as a family.  This data will allow for adjustments and refinement of the program.  

AGAPE Ministry of Warren County Transition to Client Choice Food Pantry
The Ministry is seeking to convert its food pantry to a client choice model, a best practice approach, and will utilize the grant to purchase shelving, cold storage and carts. The client choice model increases dignity for clients and decreases wasted food. AGAPE reaches about 1,200 clients per month in Warren County, which has one of the highest food insecurity rates in the area.

Epworth Children and Family Services St. Louis Healthy Food Outreach and Education
Epworth is seeking to expand its existing network of food donors and prep volunteers by sharing their clients’ stories via high-quality video. The funds will allow for the purchase of a freezer, in which larger quantities of food can be stored, and cooking equipment and coolers. Epworth expects to serve more than 1,000 homeless or foster youth.

St. Nicholas Food Pantry St. Louis-Fresh Start
SNFP will purchase a refrigerator to increase storage capacity and a truck to increase the amount of food they can collect from the food bank with the grant, leading to long-term and sustainable impact in the community. The food pantry, which will measure how many pounds of fresh produce and dairy products distributed per family, anticipates serving more than 5,000 clients over the next year.

Senior Services Plus, Inc.
Grant funding will expand the community-based garden operated by Senior Services Plus, increasing production of produce for seniors in the Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meal Program. The funds will be used to increase production through the purchase of a tiller, materials for 20 additional raised garden beds and a greenhouse. With eight raised beds, Senior Services Plus currently serves 30-40 seniors daily. Upon expanding, it expects to serve 300 seniors daily.

Springfield Community Gardens
With this grant, Springfield Community Gardens will expand its community garden project. Expansion includes increasing donated produce to Ozark Food Harvest (OFH) and contracting with a local farmer for his training, land and water. Through the program, 20 apprentice farmers will be trained with a goal of creating a network and infrastructure of community garden leaders and urban farms to regenerate and sustain a local food hub.


About MTS
Mid-America Transplant Services (MTS) saves and improves lives through organ and tissue donations. For more than 40 years it has facilitated and coordinated organ and tissue donation, and now serves 84 counties covering eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas that together are homes to 4.7 million people. It saves lives by providing expert and compassionate care. It was the first such organization in the US to use an in-house operating room for organ recovery and pioneered innovative models of increasing donor registry enrollment in an effort to provide organs and tissues to those in need. It is federally designated and one of 58 such organizations in the US. 

About the MTS foundation
The MTS charitable foundation provides enhanced support to transplant patients, donor families and the community. It seeks to reduce the need for organ and tissue transplantation; increase the availability of organs and tissues for those who need them; and to improve the lives of recipients and donor families. The foundation provides programming, develops partnerships and provides community wellness grants to organizations that support its mission of improving health through disease prevention, education and successful transplantation.


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