The Birthday Cake

It was a blistering hot day in July when the St. Louis Area Foodbank handed out food to families in need in Farmington, Mo.

Temperatures hovered near 100 degrees as clients slowly drove their cars between the pallets of food, gratefully accepting carrots, onions, bread, juice and canned goods.

In just a few hours, Foodbank staff and volunteers handed out 15,000 pounds of food.

One young mother didn’t have access to a car, so she pulled a red wagon through the line to collect food for her children. Her children, seemingly oblivious to the extreme heat, were giddy with excitement about the food they were receiving.

“The children that we encounter at Food Fairs are particularly moving because they always meet us with a grin and gratitude,” says Sara Lewis, Agency Relations Coordinator for the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

As this family braved the heat on foot, Foodbank driver Dale Vandeven noticed the little blonde girl admiring the baked goods donated by supermarkets such as Walmart.

Dale quickly searched through the pallets of bakery items, and pulled out a rainbow birthday cake. As he handed the little girl the cake, pure joy spread across her face.

“Something as simple as providing a child with a birthday cake or their favorite kind of cereal can have such an impact, not only on the family receiving the product, but on staff as well,” Lewis says. “Moments like that are reminders why the mission of the St. Louis Area Foodbank is so important.”