The Kresge Foundation grants $500,000 to Ozarks Food Harvest

April 24, 2007

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan has awarded a challenge grant of $500,000 to Ozarks Food Harvest for the food bank’s “Compassion in Action” capital campaign to build a new $4.1 million food distribution warehouse in North Springfield.

Honorary campaign chair Charlie O’Reilly made the announcement to all campaign donors at a press conference today at Ozarks Food Harvest’s warehouse.

“My family and I believe that it is absolutely essential to our community that we support this campaign. The Kresge Foundation grant allows us to move closer to our goal,” O’Reilly said.  To receive the Kresge grant funds, we must raise the remaining balance of $1,305,798 (or updated remaining balance) by November 1, 2008.

“With the aid of this challenge grant, we hope Ozarks Food Harvest’s campaign can become an even more strategic opportunity for the food bank to connect with its stakeholders and reach out to new donors, volunteers, participants, and the general community,” Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, said.

The Kresge Foundation is a national foundation with $3 billion in assets, and through its grant making programs, seeks to strengthen nonprofit organizations by catalyzing their growth and connecting them to their stakeholders. It supports projects including the construction and renovation of facilities, acquisition of property and purchase of equipment.

“In 2005 we were forced to turn down over a quarter million pounds of food because there was simply no where to store it,” said past board president and member of the campaign leadership committee Jim Lewis.  “Ozarks Food Harvest has reached the point where the current facility is preventing The Food Bank from accepting all the donations it could be receiving. The new building not only gives us more space to accept and distribute more food, but also the right kind of space, specifically refrigerated spaced.”

According to Lewis, the construction of the new building will allow The Food Bank to double its current distribution of food to the needy working poor, children and elderly in the Ozarks.

The food bank has seen a 44 percent increase in the requests for food assistance in the last four years, and distributed more than four million pounds of food to its more than 300 hunger relief agencies last year.

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