Congressman Blunt holds Farm Bill Press Conference at Food Bank

May 14, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— U.S. Congressman Roy Blunt will hold a press conference at Ozarks Food Harvest on Friday, May 16, at 11:30 a.m. at Ozarks Food Harvest’s warehouse located at 615 N Glenstone in Springfield.

Congressman Blunt will talk about how passage of the Farm Bill will assist Ozarks Food Harvest in meeting the increasing need for food assistance in southwest Missouri.  President Bush has promised to veto the bill if passed, however a two-thirds majority vote in Congress will override the presidential veto.

Ozarks Food Harvest and its member charities have experienced an 11% increase in the number of clients requesting food assistance each month for the past three months.  Over the past five years, the food bank has seen a 70% increase in the number of clients served in southwest Missouri.

America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network to which Ozarks Food Harvest belongs, reported the results of a new survey that found 100 percent of food bank respondents have seen an increase in the number of clients served within the past year.  The increase is estimated at 15 – 20 percent.

Of those surveyed, 84 percent indicated they are currently unable to adequately meet the increased demand without having to reduce the amount of food they distribute or people they serve.

Testifying at a special hearing of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, America’s Second Harvest pointed to the alarming survey results as the organization urged passage of the Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill includes a strong nutrition title, including $250 million with the amount indexed for inflation for the Emergency Food Assistance Program and an increase in benefits levels and eligibility for the food stamp program.

“Ozarks Food Harvest and our network of 340 member charities have been ABSOLUTELY overwhelmed by demand,” said Bart Brown, Executive Director of Ozarks Food Harvest.   “Supply is not keeping up with demand and we must do something quickly to meet the needs of the more than 150,000 citizens of southwest Missouri struggling to make ends meet and feed their families.”

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To learn more, contact Lindsey Neddenriep at (417) 865-3411.