Community organizations host Mobile Food Pantry for Zones 1 and 2
Churches, nonprofits partner with Ozarks Food Harvest to host monthly food distribution
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Community organizations are coming together to address the issue of hunger and food access in Zones 1 and 2 by hosting a monthly Mobile Food Pantry.
Calvin Allen, president of the Springfield Community Center, said he was inspired to help create the pantry after witnessing the negative effects of hunger first-hand.
“The poverty percentage in [Zones 1 and 2] are high,” Allen said. “My view of the needs of the families and children I work with at the Springfield Community Center and the statistics prove that more help is needed. When they pay the bills, they just don’t have enough to make it all work.”
The first distribution day for the mobile food pantry was Jan. 26. The cold winter wind was ever-present, but the volunteers remained focused and moved at a quick pace to distribute meals for 316 individuals. Among the volunteers was Deliliah Jackson, head of religious affairs at the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP.
“My hope for this pantry is that this is the beginning of something greater,” Jackson said. “We are hoping to make this happen every month and we’d love to see this happen for our community for years to come.”
Ozarks Food Harvest provides food to the Mobile Food Pantry through a grant from the Musgrave Foundation and will continue to evaluate the pantry to make sure it is operating in the most effective way and helping meet the needs in Zones 1 and 2. Pantry visitors will receive canned goods, bakery items, snacks, produce and meat. Those interested in receiving food from the pantry must be pre-approved based on income and residency guidelines.
The pantry’s partner organizations include Springfield Community Center, Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center, Springfield NAACP, Deliverance Temple Ministries and several area churches.
“We are thrilled with this opportunity to help the community,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “This new pantry will allow us to reach some of the most vulnerable members in our community and provide them with nutritious food. We are excited to see the change this pantry inspires for north Springfield.”
In addition to the Mobile Food Pantry, Ozarks Food Harvest is partnering with the City of Springfield to provide food for a community food resource center in Zone 1 as a part of the Community Zone Blitz Initiative.
The pantry is open from 10 a.m.-noon on the fourth Thursday of the month, except in November and December when it will take place on the third Tuesday. The pantry is located at Deliverance Temple, 2101 W. Chestnut Expressway. Those interested can contact the Springfield Community Center at 417-866-4359 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get an application.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 15 million meals annually to more than 261,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.