Hygiene kits needed for at-risk children’s backpacks

Hygiene kits needed for at-risk children’s backpacks

June 26, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest is asking community members to host Hygiene Drives to help more than 1,000 area children in need when school resumes this fall.

Hygiene items needed include travel-size soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The “kits” are included monthly in The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program food bags that are sent home with at-risk students in southwest Missouri every weekend of the school year.

Individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to host Hygiene Drives to collect nine kits per student per school year, or raise funds to sponsor a child’s hygiene kit at $18 per school year.

Groups can also sponsor entire schools. More than 10,000 hygiene kits are needed for the 2012–13 school year, or 1,200 of each item for every month.

Thirty southwest Missouri schools in 11 counties participate in the Backpack Program, including 13 Springfield elementary schools. Other communities include Bakersfield, Buffalo, Carthage, Carthage, Fair Play, Hurley, Joplin, Marshfield, Monett, Morrisville, Mt. Vernon, Rueter, Taneyville, Theodosia, Thornfield and West Plains.

To schedule a Hygiene Drive, call Sara McClendon at 417-865-3411. Individual donations are also accepted at the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief, 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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About Ozarks Food Harvest—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 250 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 12 million pounds of food annually to 170,000 unduplicated individuals. OFH was named the 2011 Small Business of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and its facility, the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief, recently received a Superior AIB International Food Safety Rating. Learn more at, or