Mo. ambulance service launches initiative to support food pantries
The #8KinMay campaign seeks to encourage community members to match paramedics' $4,000 donation to help feed those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
By Laura French
ST. PETERS, Mo. — A Missouri ambulance service has launched a campaign to help feed community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) said in a statement that layoffs, furloughs and reductions in work hours have led to increased requests for nutrition assistant at food pantries across the nation, including those served by St. Louis-based Operation Food Search (OFS).
SCCAD paramedics saw this critical need as an opportunity to repay the support and kindness that residents have shown first responders in recent weeks, and launched their #8KinMay campaign to support OFS.
“The idea began as an internal collection among our team,” said Lt. Ashley Pease, who along with Paramedic Bill Norris, is leading the #8KinMay movement. “The support was swift and resounding – scores of our team members have pitched in, and ultimately raised more than $4,000, which will be used by OFS to stock pantries throughout our county.”
With appeals for food assistance expected to increase in the days to come, Norris, Pease and the SCCAD
team have reached outside the agency and invited members of their community to join them in supporting OFS. Donations can be made directly to OFS using the link found on the Ambulance District’s social media
feeds and website, sccad.com.
“By shining a light on this critical need in our community, our hope is that residents will be moved to
make a contribution to help neighbors, matching our paramedics’ $4,000 donation for a total of
$8,000,” said Norris.
OFS has seen an increase in demand for services since the onset of COVID-19. The organization normally supports approximately 200,000 individuals monthly, and is seeing the need for emergency food supplies rapidly expand across the region as thousands of families are facing a loss of household income.
“The paramedics of St. Charles County have been long-standing partners in our effort to heal the hurt
of hunger,” said Kristen Wild, executive director of OFS. “Monies collected through their #8KinMay
effort will fund vital OFS programs that provide nutritional support to children, seniors and families."
#8KinMay is not the first pairing of SCCAD and OFS; the organizations have collaborated during the
holiday season for the past decade on ‘Fill the Ambulance with Food’ – an initiative that has collected
25,000 pounds of food from local retirement communities.
Our community has showed us tremendous support in recent weeks amid the #covid19 pandemic, and we can think of no better way to pay that kindness forward than to help those in need. This week, scores of SCCAD paramedics chipped in, and we'll make a donation of more than $4,000 to Operation Food Search to support hunger relief in our community. If you're able, we invite you to join us in supporting their efforts. We'd love to see our $4k doubled to make it #8KinMay for OFS! Donate here: https://bit.ly/3bnN7tiPosted by St. Charles County Ambulance District on Thursday, April 23, 2020