Missouri Foundation for Health awards major gift

Missouri Foundation for Health awards major gift

March 19, 2013

To donate a total of $4 million to Missouri food banks over next two years

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) today announced a $1 million award to Ozarks Food Harvest over the next two years, as part of the Foundation’s $4 million Emergency Food Access Project.

MFH’s Emergency Food Access Project aims to increase food distribution to as many underserved Missourians as possible, while enhancing access to nutritious and fresh food options. MFH’s contribution to Ozarks Food Harvest will focus on infrastructure and equipment improvements at The Food Bank and their 250 community-based partners, including faith-based organizations, food pantries, senior centers and afterschool programs. Of the $1 million award, at least $250,000 will be applied toward infrastructure improvements for these community-based partners.

“We are very happy to be working with Ozarks Food Harvest, a strong, effective organization that has tackled the issue of hunger in southwest Missouri for 30 years this year,” said Robert Hughes, MFH president and CEO.

Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, reports that one out of every five children in Missouri is food insecure, which means they do not have access to adequate amounts of nutritious and safe food. That number is one in four in Ozarks Food Harvest’s 28-county service area. In addition, donations to food banks and pantries are decreasing as food manufacturers and farmers increase production efficiencies. In order to meet community needs, food banks are purchasing more food directly and seeking new models to increase the nutritional quality.

“We are so grateful for the partnership of the Missouri Foundation for Health to improve access to healthy food to those we are privileged to serve,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest president and CEO. “One of the most common barriers our member agencies face is the lack of funding for equipment and infrastructure needed to accept and distribute greater quantities and varieties of fresh produce and other healthy items to their clients. This funding will remove many of those barriers, which is truly exciting.”

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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 nonprofit agencies across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 10 million meals annually to 170,000 unduplicated individuals. OFH celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2013. Learn more at, or

About Missouri Foundation for Health
Missouri Foundation for Health is an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the health of the communities and people we serve. MFH works as a changemaker, educator and partner to promote community and population health and to increase access to care for the uninsured and underserved. For more information, visit