Charlie O’Reilly: Donations well-spent at Ozarks Food Harvest

December 12, 2017 in Charlie's Corner

Happy Holidays from the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief!

The holiday season presents a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the year, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead.

Ozarks Food Harvest once again had a record distribution year, adding new member agencies, donation partners and growing its programs that serve the community every day of the year.

In addition, we saw a reduction in the number of folks in the Ozarks who struggle to put food on the table. Although one in five children and one in seven adults struggling with food insecurity is still too high, we know that we’re moving in the right direction.

We also had some challenges. A lack of space at the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief caused us to re-direct 1.5 million pounds of food to neighboring food banks. However, because of your belief in our vision, we’re in the homestretch of fundraising for the Ending Hunger, Building Hope Capital Campaign to double the size of our facility.

The success of Ozarks Food Harvest is truly thanks to you, our donors. Your passion for the mission of ending hunger in southwest Missouri and your gift of donations and time is what allows us to continue to meet the need.

I believe every gift to Ozarks Food Harvest is money well spent. With each $1 donation leveraged to $10 worth of food and services, I don’t know of a place that impacts the community more and meets such a basic but critical need.

Parents like Melodie in Springfield help me understand just how important a gift can be. Her sons are recipients of the Weekend Backpack Program at Truman Elementary.

She shared, “Thank you for all you do for not only my boys, but all the families who you help every year. My words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for the care and love you have shown to our community’s children.”

When you give to Ozarks Food Harvest, your generosity spreads over 20,000 square miles in our community to 270 pantries, feeding sites and programs, touching the lives of 261,000 children, adults and seniors each year.

As we experience the joy of spending time with loved ones this holiday season, I can’t think of a better way to make the season bright than a gift to Ozarks Food Harvest.

Just imagine that a $50 gift today provides 200 meals tomorrow for families in need. Your support is felt immediately, and is so needed as we wrap-up the holidays and head into the New Year.

Give Bart a call today, or visit to make a secure online gift. Thank you for your help to make the holidays happier and healthier for our neighbors in need.

Charlie O’Reilly is the vice-chair of O’Reilly Automotive’s Board of Directors, a hunger-relief advocate and supporter of Ozarks Food Harvest.