Ending Hunger in the Ozarks

Ending Hunger in the Ozarks

October 2, 2023 in Bart's Hope Notes Harvest Time Newsletter

Thanks to supporters like you, Ozarks Food Harvest provided 20 million meals through our network of faith-based and community charities across a third of the state of Missouri in the past year.

That’s not all; from July 2022 through June 2023, we:
• served more than 60,000 unduplicated children, families and seniors each month.
• distributed more than 900,000 meals through Mobile Food Pantries to help feed individuals in rural areas facing hunger.
• distributed more than 23 million pounds of food, including 5.2 million pounds of fresh produce.
• rescued 7.5 million pounds of edible food from being sent to the landfill through the Retail Pick-Up program.
• awarded $500,000 in grants to our network to help sustain and expand hunger-relief efforts across southwest Missouri.

Unfortunately, families in southwest Missouri are still going hungry. The last year has been a perfect storm as families continue to deal with increased childcare, housing and food costs. According to Feeding America’s latest Map the Meal Gap study, 1 in 7 children and adults experience food insecurity in Ozarks Food Harvest’s service area; higher than Missouri’s overall average of 1 in 8 people experiencing food insecurity.

That means we still have work to do to end hunger in our area. It’s a responsibility that falls to Ozarks Food Harvest as we supply 7 out of every 10 meals distributed by our network of hunger-relief charities spread across a 28-county service area.

As the demand for food increases in the Ozarks, we will continue to invest in our community’s food system so that children, families and seniors know where they’ll get their next meal.

These investments include:
• distribute more than $38 million worth of food to our hunger-relief network of 270 faith-based and community partner charities.
• rescue 515 semi-truck loads annually from being wasted via the Retail Pick-Up program. These efforts will save nearly $275,000 in City of Springfield landfill costs.
• distribute more than 900,000 meals to 60,000 neighbors facing hunger through our Mobile Food Pantry.
• distribute more than 60,000 backpacks full of food through our Weekend Backpack Program to more than 1,700 children in 61 schools across 17 counties.

Ozarks Food Harvest is here to provide hope to the communities we serve, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help so folks in the Ozarks don’t have to wonder if they’ll be able to put a
meal on the table. Please consider donating today and be a part of our efforts to end hunger in the Ozarks.