A family gives back at Ozarks Food Harvest

A family gives back at Ozarks Food Harvest

December 15, 2021 in Volunteer Spotlight

The McClure family is a busy family of seven. With five children between the ages of 12 to 18, juggling sports, extracurricular activities, and careers means the McClures have a lot on their plates.

But through the hustle and bustle, they still believe in the importance of scheduling time together as a family. In addition to family game nights, regular pizza nights, and fun family outings, Jana and Kevin McClure and their children recently decided to give back to their community together. Fortunately for us, they chose to spend their time volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest!

Jana explains that she chose to volunteer at Ozarks Food Harvest after attending a class at OTC. One aspect of the class was volunteerism, which provided her with a list of volunteer opportunities. After recognizing Ozarks Food Harvest on the list, Jana decided to look into how she could donate her own time.

“I was originally looking for a way to volunteer just for myself. Ozarks Food Harvest is a really great presence in the area, so I looked you up online. That’s when I saw that you take volunteers as young as 12 years old,” Jana explains.

Jana had wanted to volunteer together as a family for a long time, and Ozarks Food Harvest provided the perfect opportunity for all of them, including their younger children, to participate.

“I think it’s important to teach our children to be looking outward. Volunteering feels good and gets your eyes off of yourself. It does something for your own spirit,” Jana says.

After their first session packing bags for our Weekend Backpack Program, Jana knew they would be coming back. She was most impressed with how well-organized their session was.

“People’s time is valuable. Sometimes you might volunteer somewhere, and they don’t know where to put you or how to use you, but at Ozarks Food Harvest, everyone’s part is valuable, and you’re contributing the whole time.”

Jana describes some ways that her family contributed to their volunteer session saying, “We all played a part. My thirteen-year-old was given the job of quality control, checking that all bags were packed the same, and it was so great for them to have that responsibility. I told my kids, ‘Think about the kids who will be receiving this food and what a blessing it will be to them.’”

We are so grateful for our volunteers of all ages who help us combat the ongoing issue of hunger in the Ozarks. Volunteers who donate their time to our three-hour Sort & Pack sessions, as well as our Glean Team and garden sessions, make it possible for Ozarks Food Harvest to feed neighbors facing food insecurity across 28 counties in Southwest Missouri.

“Hunger is something we can do something about,” says Jana, “It was good to play a small part in that, and I loved getting the report at the end with how many pounds we packed. It’s amazing how quickly it gets done. I hope I can spark others with kids to do this too. We really enjoyed it. I even invited my dad to join us next time!”

We at Ozarks Food Harvest couldn’t do what we do without volunteers like the McClure family. If you or your family want to know how you can help, visit to learn more and sign up!