Campus-wide food drive PB&Joy begins April 5

WUSTL partners with Operation Food Search to help area’s hungry

Nearly one in four people living in St. Louis is impoverished and facing hunger; local food pantries have experienced a 30-percent increase in requests for help this past year.

As summer approaches and school lets out, approximately 135,000 area children will lose access to free and reduced breakfast and lunch.

Washington University in St. Louis is again partnering with Operation Food Search to coordinate PB&Joy, the 2nd annual campus-wide food drive. Last year, the university collected nearly three tons of food and more than $14,ooo.

PB&Joy runs Thursday, April 5, through Monday, April 16, and all faculty, staff and students are invited to get involved. The slogan is “Fill a Bag. Fill a Belly.”

“Together, we can help fill children’s bellies this summer so they won’t go hungry,” says Stephanie Kurtzman, director of the university’s Community Service Office and associate director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service.

The WUSTL community can participate in two easy ways:

  • Donate food at a drop-off location. There are 36 drop-off locations across the four campuses — Danforth, Medical, North and West. All non-perishable food is welcome and kid-friendly foods are preferred. (Perishables and glass items are not accepted.) A list of preferred food and drop-off locations is available at
  • Make an online donation to Operation Food Search. Visit to make a secure, tax-deductible donation to Operation Food Search. Payment is by credit card. For every $3 donated, Operation Food Search can provide one person with enough food for a day. By purchasing wholesale, Operation Food Search typically can buy twice as much as an individual with the same amount of money.

For those wishing to learn more about hunger in the United States, four events will be offered during PB&Joy:

Tuesday, April 10, WU Night at the Missouri History Museum. The museum’s “Hunger and Resilience” exhibit features stories and photos depicting people who suffer daily from hunger. Free shuttles from Mallinckrodt Center will run from 4:45-8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11, “St. Louis Up Close” series. A discussion about hungry children in St. Louis will take place at 5 p.m. in Danforth University Center, Room 248.

Thursday, April 12, Operation Food Search tours. Free shuttle departs from Brookings Hall at noon and 1:30 p.m. for the main distribution center at 6282 Olive Blvd. Shuttle space is limited; RSVP at

Also on April 12, Campus Kitchen will offer a “Realistic Taste of St. Louis,” with a complimentary meal and discussion about realities of hunger in St. Louis. The event will be held at 6 p.m. in Ursa’s Fireside in the South 40 on the Danforth Campus. RSVP at

More than 60 staff, faculty and students from across the university are participating in the PB&Joy planning effort. To learn more about PB&Joy, visit

About Operation Food Search

Established in 1981 to address the growing problem of hunger, Operation Food Search has become the largest distributor of free food in the St. Louis bi-state region helping to feed the area’s poor and hungry.

Each month, Operation Food Search distributes more than 2 million pounds of food and household items to more than 150 community agencies that in turn feed more than 150,000 people every single month. Nearly half of the recipients are children.