Doorstep Donations: Combating Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

By Zoe Zlatic ’24

According to Feeding America, about 10.9% of people in the U.S. suffered from food insecurity in 2019, totaling 35.2 million people. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, however, these numbers skyrocketed. Feeding America projects that 12.9% of people will be food insecure by 2022 due to the pandemic.

To combat this issue, a group of New York high school students formed a non-profit organization: Doorstep Donations. Centered in the U.S. and Canada, Doorstep Donations uses a Bag Program to collect and distribute food donations. Here’s how it works:

  1. Donor families collect a few non-perishable food items each time they go to the grocery store.
  2. After about two months, the family puts the donations in a bag near their house.
  3. On a set date, student drivers collect the donations from each house.
  4. The drivers bring the donations to a local food pantry, where the food is sorted and distributed.

The result: a constant supply of donations to the food pantry.

Luckily, Doorstep Donations has established a chapter at MICDS, so MICDS families can be donors too!

Kasia Gorzko ’22 is one of the MICDS student leaders for Doorstep Donations. “Food insecurity is a big problem in St. Louis, especially now during COVID, but with Doorstep Donations, we’re making donating easier than ever,” she said. “This is a fun and easy way for families to donate and students to volunteer, but most importantly, this program—and the generous donations—will surely make a significant impact on our community!”

MICDS partnered with the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, and we just had our first donation dropoff this past Saturday, March 6. Collecting enough food to provide a little over 800 meals, the dropoff was a success!

Alana Fulsom ’21, who has volunteered with the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, said, “While volunteering I was made aware of the vast amount of time it takes to sort the food before it can be sorted into bags since the food pantry supplies USDA, non-USDA, and kosher meal bags (which all require different items and must be kept separate). It was very eye-opening to see how much time goes into making one bag and how many people are involved.”

Erin Hamill, MICDS Director of Global Learning and Upper School Community Service, is “so excited that MICDS is participating in Doorstep Donations to help combat food insecurity in the St. Louis area year-round, rather than just collecting food around the holidays for Turkey Train and the Derek D. Martin Food Drive.” She said, “This first collection was a huge success, and we look forward to growing the program and making a bigger impact in St. Louis by recruiting more families and student drivers for this coming summer and next school year.”

Ten student drivers and 29 donor families participated in our first dropoff. However, if you haven’t signed up to be a donor family yet, you can still sign up here to become an MICDS Doorstep Donations family and help reduce food insecurity. Our next pickup will be Saturday, May 1. Upper School students will receive information about how to sign up to be a Doorstep Donations driver later this spring, as we will need additional drivers for the summer and next school year.

We are thankful to our MICDS community for its support of our new Doorstep Donations Chapter in our effort to help combat food insecurity in St. Louis.

Please contact any of our MICDS Doorstep Donations Chapter Leaders or Mrs. Hamill with any questions.