Ozarks Food Harvest brings awareness to hunger issues during Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Hunger advocates from southwest Missouri and across the country are working together this September to shine a light on the issue of hunger and the one in six people who struggle to put food on the table in America. Ozarks Food Harvest, a member of Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks, will observe Hunger Action Month with events throughout the month. Locally, more than 260,000 access food assistance from The Food Bank and its network of partner pantries and programs. Nearly 30 percent of those who struggle are children.
“One in six people, including more than 70,000 children in southwest Missouri, may not know where their next meal is coming from, and The Food Bank is eager to rally around Hunger Action Month as we continue our fight to solve this critical issue,” said Bart Brown, President/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “Hunger is an issue that affects our community, and September is an opportunity for everyone to become a hunger-relief advocate and take simple steps towards supporting our neighbors in need.”
The theme of this year’s Hunger Action Month is #Spoontember. To get involved in this social media initiative, supporters can share a spoon selfie or video of themselves balancing a spoon on their nose – a utensil that is most often used to prepare and provide food for others – and challenge friends and family to generate awareness of the 49 million Americans who may not know where they’ll find their next meal.
Starting this week, Ozarks Food Harvest will host and participate in several events throughout the month to raise food and funds to benefit The Food Bank’s programs and network of 200 local hunger-relief organizations across its 28-county service area. Some of the September events taking place in Springfield include:
- Hungerthon on 105.9 KGBX is Sept. 11 through Sept. 14. The Food Bank is teaming up with iHeartMedia to raise money on-air for OFH’s Weekend Backpack Program. This year is the 17th annual radio-thon and the first year the event will be held on 105.9 KGBX. Those who wish to donate can call 1-800-445-1059.
- Tea Bar & Bites’ Apron Fashion Show and Silent Auction is Sept. 16, with proceeds from auction items benefiting OFH. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at Tea Bar & Bites at 621 S. Pickwick Ave.
- Iron Chef of the Ozarks is Sept. 19 at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Attendees can taste samples from local chefs and vote with a donation to benefit The Food Bank. Hunger Action Month T-shirts will be on sale for $10.
- Panera Bread’s Empty Bowls event will raise awareness of hunger issues while supporting The Food Bank on Sept. 25 at Panera, 2924 E. Sunshine St., from 5-8p.m. More than 200 handcrafted bowls have been donated by local artists, and can be purchased with cash donations to OFH. The first 150 donors will receive soup and a baguette, courtesy of Panera.
Additional events during Hunger Action Month:
- Hunger Action Day, Sept. 3, kicks off the month with advocates wearing orange — the symbolic color of hunger — and posting their support on social media using the hashtag #Spoontember and #HungerActionMonth to support hunger awareness in the Ozarks and nationwide.
- Arvest Bank’s 1 Million Meals campaign invites community members to donate nonperishable food items or cash at any Springfield or Nixa area Arvest locations, or purchase a paper can for $1 to benefit OFH from Sept. 3–Nov. 1.
- Happy Hour Live is Sept. 9 from 5–7 p.m. Individuals can enjoy refreshments while supporting Ozarks Food Harvest at University Plaza, sponsored by the Springfield Business Journal. OFH is the featured charity. Come see the University Plaza fountain light up orange for Hunger Action Month.
- OFH Day at the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks on Sept. 15. Support The Food Bank by giving blood before Sept. 30 and mentioning Ozarks Food Harvest at registration.
- Everest College’s carnival and food drive on Sept. 24. Families can bring canned food donations to fill a truck at Everest College on 1010 W. Sunshine and enjoy activities, giveaways, a carnival and food trucks.
- Oktoberfest food drive at Farmers Gastropub on Sept. 26 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Individuals can bring in four canned food donations to The Food Bank for two chances at great prizes to this Springfield Food Day Celebration kickoff event at 2620 S. Glenstone Ave.
To learn more about The Food Bank or for more ways to help during Hunger Action Month, go to ozarksfoodharvest.org.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest–The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes more than 13.6 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.