Alum’s efforts help feed St. Louis’ immunocompromised hungry amidst COVID-19
Flinging the green and gold afar looks different for every Bear. For Justin Kralemann (BS ’10), it looks like facing food insecurity head on.
Kralemann is the director of development for Food Outreach, a nutritional support program based in St. Louis dedicated to serving men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or cancer — individuals who are largely immunocompromised, and therefore particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the pandemic began, we’ve provided more than 175,000 pounds of food to more than 1,200 clients, which is 75% more clients compared to pre-COVID,” says Kralemann. Thanks to the Baylor alum’s fundraising efforts, the organization has been able to remain open and fully staffed despite the pandemic-related economic downturn.
In ordinary times, Food Outreach serves nearly 2,000 individuals a year (from newborn to 90 years old) across 160 zip codes in Missouri and Illinois. Kralemann’s fundraising efforts generate nearly $2 million each year to support the program’s operations.
Established in 1988, the organization quickly grew from a group of friends wanting to care for those with HIV/AIDS. Food Outreach first moved into the basement of a local church, then eventually into a 10,000-square-foot building in the heart of the city, where it could better meet increased demand and an expanded mission that now also includes those battling cancer.
“This work is important, because food is a social determinant of health, and it directly impacts an individual’s overall wellbeing,” says Kralemann. “It’s only fitting that our mantra is ‘food is medicine.’”
During his time at Baylor, Kralemann learned from Baylor’s commitment to developing compassion and service in every student. He worked with organizations like Mission Waco and World Hunger Relief and learned the value and essential need for nutritional resources for those experiencing hunger.
“Because of my experiences, I graduated from Baylor equipped with the tools necessary to not only serve with purpose, but lead with passion,” says Kralemann. “Working with Food Outreach is a privilege and a blessing.”
Sic ’em, Justin and Food Outreach!
[We learned of this story from a Bear who shared his Baylor pride. Do you know of an inspiring story, news item, or just a fun link that makes you proud of Baylor and the Baylor family? Let us know! Click here to submit your point of pride!]