Bart Brown: Giving motivated by need, personal stories

April 20, 2016 in Bart's Hope Notes

View More: Food Harvest’s donors are simply incredible. We could not do what we do without you. Your care for the Ozarks and those who are struggling with hunger is unmatched.

I know that each gift of yourself and your treasure to The Food Bank is a sacrifice. You are choosing to spend your valuable time and hard-earned dollars helping others. I hope you know how thankful we are.

Here at Ozarks Food Harvest, we wanted to learn more about what makes you want to give and why you are concerned for your struggling neighbors.

We sent a letter to some of our most loyal donors and asked them three questions regarding their giving. I think this helped us tremendously to gain a better perspective on your generosity.

I’d like to share with you the results from the first question so you can get better insight into why your fellow donors support Ozarks Food Harvest.

We asked, “What motivates you to support The Food Bank?”

  • Hunger awareness in the Ozarks: 32%
  • Volunteered with OFH or partner agency: 15%
  • Have faced hunger or hardship before: 13%
  • Know someone who is food insecure: 12%
  • Ability and desire to give: 8%
  • Faith or religious reasons: 8%
  • Compassion and concern for the hungry: 7%
  • Good reputation and use of funds: 5%

We were not surprised to see so many of you, 25 percent, shared with us again this year that you have either experienced hunger personally, or known someone who has. The devastating problem of hunger is far reaching, even affecting people you would not expect.


One donor shared that her own personal experience motivates her giving: “I have lived on a tight budget with a fear of going hungry.”

Even those of you who have not felt the pain of hunger shared that it’s hard to imagine this terrible issue that your fellow community members face on a daily basis.

Thirty-two percent of you shared that you give simply because you are aware that there is a need. “I can’t stand the thought of anyone being hungry,” said one donor.

I think one of our donors said it perfectly when she said, “Hunger is a community problem that I can help solve.”

We know that many of you are especially touched by our programs reaching children, such as the Weekend Backpack Program. Just as we ask you why you give, we ask the people who receive food what it means to them that there are people in the community who care about their struggle.

Thirteen-year-old Elvis shared, “Me and my family are all grateful for the food bags we receive because we have something to eat when there is nothing at all. Thanks to you we are able to get our daily meals and nutrition.”

We cannot say it enough, thank you for your generous support. It means everything to the children, families and seniors we serve.

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