The Ozark County Food Pantry has a new facility, which has allowed it to provide nutritious food to even more families and individuals across its service area.
Have you ever wondered what happens to food that’s no longer viable for retail sales but is still safe to eat? Instead of letting it go to waste, Ozarks Food Harvest rescues the food and gives it to individuals and families experiencing hunger in southwest Missouri.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic changed life drastically. One area that’s been greatly affected is the opportunity for in-person volunteering. Missouri State University’s Sigma Phi Epsilon found it hard to serve until the fraternity discovered Ozarks Food Harvest.
As we see the community opening back up, The Food Bank’s volunteer program has welcomed back the folks who make the mission of ending hunger in the Ozarks possible. But that wasn’t the case at the beginning of the pandemic.
The future for our community looks bright. COVID-19 restrictions are decreasing, restaurants are opening to customers, and many of us are able to see friends and family for the first time in a year. There’s a lot to be hopeful for, but at Ozarks Food Harvest, we know the effects of COVID-19 will linger for the foreseeable future.
A family of five in rural Barton County has hope again after receiving help from an Ozarks Food Harvest hunger-relief partner. Hard times left the family with unstable housing, no transportation and no access to food. They walked to a convenience store or used a neighbor’s water to bathe and use the bathroom because they had no running water. The three boys slept in sleeping bags to keep roaches and mice away at night. The family needed help, and without transportation, they had nowhere to turn.
During the pandemic, the lives of children in the Ozarks changed drastically. It was difficult for them to understand why they couldn’t hug their friends at school or even sit with them at lunch. On top of this mental strain, some kids didn’t get enough to eat. While life continues to be unpredictable, our Weekend Backpack Program provides children in the Ozarks with something they can count on.