As food insecurity rates continue to increase throughout the region, Neighbors Credit Union and St. Louis University (SLU) Athletics teamed up to launch the Block Out Hunger fundraiser, which converted each blocked shot throughout its 2023-24 basketball seasons (men’s and women’s) into a $20 donation from Neighbors Credit Union to Operation Food Search. Missouri currently ranks ninth worst in the nation for food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The fundraising campaign concluded in early April as the Billikens won the Women’s National Invitation Tournament championship (WNIT).

Key stats for the campaign:

· The SLU men’s basketball team blocked 101 shots this season, contributing $2,020 to the donation total. The leading shot blocker was Terrence Hargrove Jr. (21 blocks).
· The SLU women’s basketball team blocked 83 shots this season, contributing $1,660 to the donation total. The leading shot blocker was Tierra Simon (43 blocks).
· A special early morning shoot out event in February resulted in an additional $5,000 donation from Neighbors Credit Union.

The Block Out Hunger campaign culminated in a total donation from Neighbors Credit Union of $8,710 to Operation Food Search, along with nearly 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food collected.

“When neighbors come together, good things happen,” said Paula Anderson, Neighbors Credit Union Senior Vice President of Marketing. “We’re grateful for this collaboration with SLU Athletics and the impressive defensive prowess of the Billikens basketball teams, who increased our donation total with each highlight-worthy block.”

The Block Out Hunger campaign also included community engagement initiatives such as food drives, where fans who brought canned goods received free entry to games.

“This influx of the financial and food donations will help us address food insecurity in the region,” said Kristen Wild, OFS President and CEO. “Thanks to the promotional support of St. Louis University Athletics and the resulting donation from Neighbors Credit Union, we’re one step closer to a region where everyone has equitable access to the food they need to lead healthy lives.”

OFS serves more than 200,000 people each month, distributing $30 million worth of food and necessities annually.

About Operation Food Search
Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides free food, nutrition education and innovative programs proven to reduce food insecurity. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families and increases access to healthy and affordable food. The agency provides food and services to 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of whom are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 27 Missouri and Illinois counties. For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit

Operation Food Search
Amanda Galloway



  • Human & Civil Rights