Gardeners Share 45,452 lbs. of Fresh Produce During 2009 Growing Season

November 13, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank —accepted 45,452 pounds of fresh produce through generous donations from area gardeners since June.

That amount is roughly equivalent to the size of what a semi truck would hold.

“That is a great success story since the volunteer-led Ozarks Harvesting Hope campaign started in 2008 as part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry national service program,” said Amy Tuggle, member of the University of Missouri Extension Master Gardeners of Greene County.

Ozarks Harvesting Hope is a joint public service project of the American Advertising Federation of the Ozarks and the Master Gardeners of Greene County.

The more than 45,000 pounds of produce was donated to Ozarks Food Harvest by Master Gardeners, Harvest on Wheels — a service project of the Greene County Democratic Party to transport donations to Ozarks Food Harvest from farmers markets, churches and neighborhoods —Rutledge Wilson Farm, Ozarks Harvesting Hope supporters, area churches, community gardens as well as numerous individual growers. This number does not include Ozarks Food Harvest’s corporate donations of fresh produce to The Food Bank.

“For everyone who encouraged a neighbor to plant extra, grew and donated produce, handed out information at events or participated in the Harvest on Wheels program, please know it is greatly appreciated,” said Tuggle. “Through your efforts, those less fortunate in our community received nutritious produce.”

Tuggle says group members are compiling ways to further increase awareness about this program and develop new ways to encourage community members to “plant an extra row.”

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About Ozarks Food Harvest—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest, 2810 N. Cedarbrook, Springfield, Mo., is the only food bank in southwest Missouri and serves more than 350 nonprofit hunger relief organizations, reaching more than 55,000 people each month in 29 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributed seven million pounds of food during its last fiscal year — the highest distribution in The Food Bank’s 25-year history — made possible due to its network of charities and direct-relief programs such as the Weekend Backpack Program™, Kids Cafe® and the Mobile Food Pantry™ program. Learn more at