Hungerthon donations sponsor 451 children
Community members and businesses across the Ozarks came together last month to provide 451 at-risk kids with nutritious meals every weekend of the school year.
Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartMedia’s 19th annual Hungerthon collected $135,209 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program.
The initiative provides more than 1,600 food insecure children with food to take home every Friday after school. One in five children in southwest Missouri struggle with hunger, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.
“We’ve partnered with Kevin and Liz for 19 years to feed kids in our community. We are so thankful for their support and all the community members who stepped up and donated to this crucial program,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO.
Kevin Howard and Liz Delany from 105.9 KGBX hosted the radio-thon, spending 30 hours on air raising money for Ozarks Food Harvest.
Backpacks were matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., Kathy Copeland, CoxHealth, Don Wessel Honda, Harter House, MassMutual, Midwest Tactical, Inc., The Musgrave Foundation, Peck’s Insurance & Financial Services, Ron and Janice Penney and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Event sponsorship included Air Services Heating & Cooling, Family Pharmacy and Sonic.
Fifty-nine southwest Missouri schools participate in Ozarks Food Harvest’s Weekend Backpack Program, which distributes nearly 58,000 backpacks annually. Those bags include meals for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, two snacks and drinks.
Since 1999, community members have donated $1.77 million through Hungerthon.