Ozarks Food Harvest donates more than $200,000 to agencies for commercial freezers/cooler
Seven walk-in freezers and one walk-in cooler were purchased for eight agencies to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest has provided more than $200,000 worth of infrastructure and equipment grants to eight of its partner food pantries to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts.
Seven walk-in freezers and one walk-in cooler were provided to Crosslines-Carthage, Eminence Food Pantry, FEED in Mountain View, Lamar Good Samaritan, Ozark County Food Pantry in Gainesville, St. Clair County Food Pantry in Osceola, Texas County Food Pantry in Houston and The Hope Center in El Dorado Springs. In addition to donating the 16-by-11 foot units, The Food Bank funded the concrete pad pouring, delivery, assembly and electrical installation.
“We know that food insecurity rates are higher in rural communities and will continue to increase during COVID-19,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “We’re so grateful to be able to provide assistance to our agencies to ensure storage space isn’t a barrier to serving more folks in their communities.”
Rural areas affected by COVID-19 were targeted for donations as they experienced greater job losses, specifically in manufacturing and tourism, and increased food insecurity. This capacity building investment is part of Ozarks Food Harvest’s long-term strategic plan to optimize food access in rural communities who lack infrastructure and equipment for increased food distribution.
Ozarks Food Harvest, the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, was a recipient of a Feeding America grant that provided funding for the commercial freezers and cooler. The funding also allowed The Food Bank to hire temporary staff, increase truck routes and purchase additional equipment.
“With this walk-in freezer, we’re able to distribute more meat, frozen items and bakery to our clients,” said Chris Elswick, Director of Lamar Good Samaritan. “We appreciate Ozarks Food Harvest’s donation as it will help us feed more families and give them hope for the future.”
Ozarks Food Harvest is the largest COVID-19 related donor to charities in southwest Missouri. Since April, Ozarks Food Harvest has hosted more than 75 Mobile Food Pantries, purchased an additional $2.2 million worth of food and provided a record-breaking 14 million meals to its network of 270 hunger-relief organizations.
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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 22 million meals annually. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.