In today’s world, where many of us are working ourselves to the bone to buy the dream home, fancy cars and materialistic things, we often come up stressed and empty. Often, the pursuit of the dollar doesn’t bring true joy and peace. Maybe we can learn something from Pastor John as he shows us that having a purpose to help others is more fulfilling than anything money can buy.
“My wife and I had been pastoring and working in our denomination’s headquarters for more than 25 years when I felt God pulling me back to the front lines. Where light meets dark. It was a huge step of faith and it changed everything – for the good.
Today, Cortez Villanueva is in the business of feeding hungry souls. Every Sunday morning, the 47-year-old man can be found in the kitchen at Ozarks Food Harvest member agency Crimson House Ministries stirring pots, baking biscuits and frying meats to feed the homeless who gather around Commercial Street. But 25 years ago, his life revolved around a different hunger game – drugs. Marijuana and crack cocaine were the “food” he was feeding to hungry addicts until he was arrested and sent to prison, serving 17 of a 20-year sentence.
The savory smells coming out of the kitchen at The King’s Pantry in Seymour drew more than a little attention from clients waiting to “shop” for their groceries on a recent Thursday.
Those smells were part of a new program offered by the University of Missouri Extension Service in Webster County. Amber Williams, a nutrition program associate, selects a quick, simple recipe using four or five ingredients — all available to clients at the pantry. Then she whips it up for everyone to taste and smell.
The eighth annual McDonald’s Cans for Coffee food drive collected nearly 20,000 pounds of food for Ozarks Food Harvest.
“Cans for Coffee is not only important to helping provide food to hungry Missourians, but it also draws awareness to the complex issue of hunger in our community,” shared Denise Gibson, OFH development and communication director.
Twenty-eight Springfield Public Schools and 16 businesses and community partners battled in Ozarks Food Harvest’s fifth annual Food Fight competition, collecting over 36,000 pounds of donations which will provide more than 30,000 meals to hungry children, families and seniors this holiday season.
This year, the food and funds collected were sent directly to Ozarks Food Harvest’s partner food pantries in Greene County, including four SPS school pantries.