Thank you for your interest in applying for OFH membership
As a nonprofit food distribution center, Ozarks Food Harvest collaborates with nonprofit agencies across 28 Missouri counties to provide emergency food assistance to southwest Missourians in need. Food resources are donation-driven, including surplus and salvageable products, donated by all components of the food industry such as manufacturers, retailers and food distributors. Food drives and other campaigns also play a part in donations. Because inventory is not constant, and availability is sometimes limited, OFH should act as a supplemental source of food for partner organizations. Member agencies should be prepared, when necessary, to secure donations from other sources.
For a new food program to be considered by OFH, there must be an established need in the agency’s community. Ozarks Food Harvest reserves the right to review the concentration of organizations within the area under consideration. In communities with higher concentration of agencies, The Food Bank encourages collaboration with existing programs. Currently, Ozarks Food Harvest’s focus is on those agencies that reach underserved areas such as rural communities, where poverty is particularly severe and resources are limited.
Preliminary membership requirements
Before a nonprofit organization can receive an application for Ozarks Food Harvest membership, the following requirements must be met. Please note that priority is given to agencies utilizing the Charity Tracker online case management system.
- 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation from the Internal Revenue Service
- Located within Ozarks Food Harvest’s 28-county service area
- Demonstrate a history of distributing food to those in need
- Staff members with proper food safety credentials or be willing to attend mandatory training prior to OFH membership
- Provide food assistance to those in need without requiring payment, work, or participation in prayer in order to eat or gain admission to food distribution (organizations operating food assistance programs prior to or after church services, such as a Sunday or a Wednesday evening, will require additional consideration for approval due to Food Bank staff monitoring schedules)
- Pantry must be more than 15 miles from an existing OFH-member pantry or hunger-relief partner site (congregate feeding sites are excluded from this guideline)
- Open a minimum of twice a month, but preferably four times a month (applies to pantries only)
- Client-choice pantry
- Provide a health inspection or food observation, depending on county requirements
- Willing to adhere to the guidelines established in OFH’s Partnership Agreement (signed copy is required upon acceptance of membership)
- Pay a $50 application fee
If your agency meets the above preliminary requirements, you may request an application to be considered for OFH membership.
- Once the application packet is received and evaluated, an on-site visit will be conducted by OFH staff. On completion of the site visit, final recommendation for approval of membership will be made.
- Please allow four to six weeks for the application process. Submitting an application does not guarantee membership.
Submit your request
All of Ozarks Food Harvest’s partner agencies comply with a non-discrimination policy and are prohibited from refusing service to anyone based on race, creed, religious or political affiliation, gender or sexual preferences. Agencies are also prohibited from requiring participation in any religious services or activities in exchange for Ozarks Food Harvest’s food or services.