Ozarks Food Harvest challenges community to collect protein-rich fish

Ozarks Food Harvest challenges community to collect protein-rich fish

February 28, 2017

Third annual Fish Drive to benefit The Food Bank’s network of 270 pantries in the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest is asking churches, businesses, schools or any interested group to participate in the third annual community Fish Drive during Lent, March 1 through April 13.

The Fish Drive emphasizes the donation of nutritious fish in cans or pouches. High-protein food like fish is one of the most needed items requested by The Food Bank’s network of 270 hunger-relief organizations.

Food Bank staff thought this type of drive would be a creative way for Lenten observers to put their faith into action and help feed their neighbors in need throughout southwest Missouri. Eighteen churches and student groups have already signed up to participate.

“Too many of our neighbors struggle with food insecurity, meaning they aren’t sure where their next meal will come from,” said Denise Gibson, Ozarks Food Harvest director of development and communication. “One in four people in the Ozarks access food assistance from our network of pantries and programs.”

To help increase protein options for Ozarks Food Harvest’s partner agencies, participating groups are asked to collect items such as canned or pouched tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines or oysters.

“We think this is a great addition to the season of Lent,” Gibson said. “We have many church groups who help with our mission to solve hunger in the Ozarks, and we’re so grateful for their support.”

In the last two years the Fish Drive collected 1,498 pounds of cans and easy-open pouches of fish, providing 1,248 nutritious meals for families and children here in the Ozarks.

Register your group for this year’s drive and learn more information by emailing OFH’s development & community resources assistant coordinator Jenna Brown at or visit to register online.

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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 15 million meals annually to more than 261,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at, or