By the time I pay the rent, utilities and car insurance, we come up short on food often. It helps a lot having the pantry. Ricky & Natalie

The slow economic recovery increases challenges for Ozarks families

67% of families served by the food bank choose between paying for food and utilities

The average family who accesses charitable food assistance in the Ozarks includes a member who has attained a high school degree, GED or college degree. And, many households served by Ozarks Food Harvest’s network actually have some form of employment, but they still struggle to meet their basic needs. An estimated 39 percent of households have a member who has worked within the last year. But unfortunately, in more than 75 percent of these homes, the most-employed individual is currently out of work. If not seeking employment, the family member is disabled, a caretaker or retired.

Families in the Ozarks face challenges in affording adequate food to feed themselves and their families. Many exercise a variety of coping strategies to ensure they have enough food, such as purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food to make ends meet. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — along with Ozarks Food Harvest’s member food pantries and feeding sites — help families through hard times.


Together we can solve hunger

One job loss away from losing everything

Food insecurity can happen to anyone. In Ozarks Food Harvest’s service area, roughly 80 percent of client families shared that they use multiple strategies for getting enough food, like eating food past its expiration date or watering down food. Watch Ricky and Natalie visit a local food pantry and share how it helps them and their infant daughter. You can help an Ozarks family just like Ricky and Natalie’s when they are needing it most.


Programs for Families

  • Mobile Food Pantry

    Ozarks Food Harvest's pantry on wheels delivers bulk loads of food to central locations in rural areas, or to member food pantries that do not have adequate freezer or cooler space.

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  • Summer Food

    Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year are also at risk of hunger during the summer months.

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  • SNAP

    Ozarks Food Harvest conducts SNAP, or food stamp, outreach across 28 Missouri counties to educate those who are eligible to receive benefits about the application process.

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