Summer Food Program sites provide food to children at risk of hunger
June 28 lunch at National Heights Baptist Church to celebrate grant from ConAgra Foods
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— When school is out for summer vacation, millions of children across the nation lose access to the free and reduced-price meals they receive during the school year — including thousands of children right here in the Ozarks.
Ozarks Food Harvest is hosting a Summer Food Program celebration at National Heights Baptist Church, 3050 N. National, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 28 to help increase awareness and participation of the program. The lunch is made possible through a grant Ozarks Food Harvest received from the ConAgra Foods Foundation to help promote the Summer Food Program. Food Bank officials expect to serve a warm meal to roughly 200 children on Friday.
Programs like OFH’s Summer Food Program — at 17 sites in eight southwest Missouri counties — aim to fill the meal gap, providing children with free, healthy meals during the summer months when school is not in session and when many children often face missing meals and lack of proper nutrition. The locations are open and free to children in need.
The ConAgra Foods Foundation and Feeding America are working to serve an additional one million meals through the Hunger-Free Summer program. This summer, 29 Feeding America food banks in 20 states, including Ozarks Food Harvest, received grants from Feeding America thanks to the ConAgra Foods Foundation’s support for the Hunger-Free Summer program.
The $20,000 outreach grant Ozarks Food Harvest received is helping promote the program to increase awareness and participation. A senior graphic design student at Missouri State, Sally Terry, created a new program logo, informational posters for nearby elementary schools, directional signs to help individuals find their nearest feeding site, site signs, informational postcards, t-shirts and more.
Last year, OFH had 14 sites in eight counties which served nearly 35,000 meals to children in need.
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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 ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.