Ozarks Food Harvest dedicates new 56,000 square-foot distribution center expansion
New space will allow The Food Bank capacity to provide nearly 30 million meals each year in the Ozarks
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest dedicated its new 56,000 square-foot expansion to the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief with a private ribbon-cutting ceremony for donors, volunteers, agencies and staff members Thursday morning.
The new expansion gives The Food Bank, with the help of charitable and governmental partners, the ability to distribute nearly 30 million meals annually to help close the meal gap. The space includes a dedicated produce cooler, larger shelving units and five new truck docks. With more space to process and stage donations, The Food Bank will increase food rescue efforts, distribute more fresh produce and ultimately provide more meals across the Ozarks.
“It’s been incredible to witness the community come together to help expand our facility,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “We are so thankful for all of our generous donors and their commitment to fighting hunger in the Ozarks.”
The $4.8 million project was made possible by a lead gift from the O’Reilly family, donations from individual, corporate and foundation donors and the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant.
Food bank staff began accepting, processing and staging food donations in the space this July. Ozarks Food Harvest currently distributes 17 million meals across 28 counties in the Ozarks each year. The expansion will greatly increase food access for the 1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults who suffer from food insecurity as Ozarks Food Harvest works toward closing the meal gap.
To learn more about Ozarks Food Harvest or request a tour of the new facilities, call 417-865-3411.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, providing food to 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties serving 261,000 unduplicated individuals. The Food Bank provides more than 17 million meals annually. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.