Bart Brow: OFH earns perfect score

July 27, 2016 in Bart's Hope Notes Food Bank News Harvest Time Newsletter

View More: it comes to hunger relief, I’m proud to say that Ozarks Food Harvest is one of the most effective nonprofits in the nation.

Seeing firsthand how hard the staff and volunteers work to provide food for our struggling neighbors is incredible. And so many of you generously give of your treasure to ensure no one goes hungry.

While I’ve always known of the great work being done here at Ozarks Food Harvest, the leading evaluator of nonprofits nationwide helped make that abundantly clear this June.

Ozarks Food Harvest was one of only 49 nonprofits among the more than 8,000 evaluated across the country to earn a 100 percent rating from Charity Navigator. We were the only charity in Missouri to receive this honor.

Earning a perfect 100 percent score from Charity Navigator is a testament to the trust we have in this community. This rating gives you, our valued donors, greater confidence that every $1 you give to The Food Bank is making a tangible impact on the life of someone who is hungry.

For the past four years, Ozarks Food Harvest had received the top four-star rating from Charity Navigator. When the evaluator updated its rating system earlier this year to provide donors better information on how charities perform over time, Ozarks Food Harvest was one of a few select nonprofits to earn the never before awarded 100 percent perfect score.

Charity Navigator’s improvements include measuring nonprofits’ program, administration and fundraising costs over the three most recent fiscal years, rather than just from the most recent fiscal year. It also added calculating nonprofits’ liabilities to assets ratio as a measure of financial health. This analysis was added to Charity Navigator’s existing measurements that evaluate nonprofits’ transparency and financial accountability.

At Ozarks Food Harvest, this score is based on years of strategic planning and research that has allowed us to most effectively use your gifts to make the biggest difference in the Ozarks, where as you know, hunger affects one in four people.

Over the past three years, Ozarks Food Harvest has increased the number of meals distributed per person in need by 27 percent across the 28 counties served in the Ozarks. Today, The Food Bank provides 14.6 million meals every year. Five counties – Greene, Newton, Ozark, Texas and Vernon – saw at least a 50 percent increase in meals distributed since 2013. And Lawrence, Shannon and Wright counties saw an over 100 percent rise in meal distribution.

I hope that you know that each dollar or pound of food you give to Ozarks Food Harvest is being used in the most effective and efficient way to help local children, families and seniors put food on the table.

Hunger in our community is an urgent and growing need, but our commitment to solve this heartbreaking issue is stronger than ever. Thanks to your compassion, we’re reaching more people and distributing more meals than ever before.

Would you consider making a donation today to help us grow our direct service and pantry programs? Ninety-six cents of every dollar you give goes straight to helping those who need our help. We need and value your long-term commitment to stand beside us in the fight against hunger.

Bart Brown is the president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest.