Collaboration Impacts Community
A letter from Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest
Poverty continues to affect children, families and seniors living in the Ozarks every day.
Many of the clients we serve have jobs and work hard to make a living. Unfortunately, wages in the Ozarks are lower than the national average. In fact, 83 percent of families served by Ozarks Food Harvest make less than $20,000 a year.
It breaks my heart to think about people who must choose between buying groceries and paying the bills each week because of low-paying jobs. However, I am proud to live in a community that helps its neighbors when times get tough.
Over the past four years, it’s been incredible to see how donors and partners have rallied together to help fund our Ending Hunger, Building Hope capital campaign. They are truly passionate about closing the meal gap in southwest Missouri—and about providing tangible hope to food insecure families.
Now that the new building is fully operational, our work has just begun. In 2019, we will continue to work toward our goal of providing 28 million meals to close the meal gap. But we can’t do it without your help.
At Ozarks Food Harvest, collaboration is the heartbeat of our organization. We work closely with 270 food pantries, feeding sites, shelters and programs to provide meals across 28 counties in the Ozarks.
Donors are another critical piece of the puzzle. Thousands of generous donations of food, funds and time are given throughout the year to help us serve more than 261,000 individuals. We hope you know that without your kindness and compassion, Ozarks Food Harvest would not be able to meet the needs of families facing hunger in southwest Missouri.
We recently spoke with Taylor, a single mother served by one of Ozarks Food Harvest’s pantries.
“Without this valuable resource, I would truly be at a loss,” she shared. “I have been given the means in which to provide home-cooked meals for myself and my children as well as a kind and understanding staff to talk to when I’m having a bad day. I feel truly blessed and appreciate everything they have helped us with!”
Because of your commitment to The Food Bank, Taylor knows that her children won’t have to go to bed hungry—and she has hope for the future.
“The shelter has given me the opportunity and means to make the necessary decisions and adjustments to my life and my children’s lives,” she expressed.
This holiday season, I ask you to consider donating to The Food Bank so that families like Taylor’s aren’t forced to make the choice between feeding their children and paying the bills. As you know, every dollar you choose to donate to Ozarks Food Harvest helps provide four meals to someone in need, and 96 cents of every dollar helps provide food and services to our partners.
We won’t stop fighting until every individual in the Ozarks knows where their next meal is coming from. Your generous gifts are helping meet the needs of local families today and breaking cycles of poverty for the future. Thank you for your continued support, and happy holidays from our family to yours.