Ozarks Food Harvest pledges more food support to community

March 18, 2020

The Food Bank will continue to provide meals for children who are staying home over the next few weeks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—While schools in the Ozarks are closed for several weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Ozarks Food Harvest—the regional food bank of southwest Missouri—will continue to provide safe and healthy food to children who take part in The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program.

During the school year, more than 1,600 children in 59 schools across the Ozarks receive bags of food through The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program. Each bag contains an assortment of nutritious and easy-to-prepare entrees, snacks and beverages.

“We’re committed to helping our schools and our kids through this unprecedented time,” said Bart Brown, president and CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “The Food Bank is ideally positioned to address situations like this due to the stringent food safety and sanitation policies we follow every day.”

The Food Bank’s facility, the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief, has received “superior” AIB International food safety certifications for nearly ten years. This process involves an in-depth examination of Ozarks Food Harvest’s sanitation practices, documentation processes, pest control criteria and standard operating procedures to guarantee the entire facility meets food safety standards.

“Without regard to cost, we are acting now,” said Brown. “However, we will need your help to make this happen. We have developed a COVID-19 Hope Fund to ensure that at-risk children, seniors and individuals displaced from employment have access to the food they might need. The Food Bank is acting immediately to help provide these meals. The public’s help is essential at this time.”

“If you want to help immediately, visit and click on the ‘Donate’ button. Every dollar donated will help provide $10 worth of groceries to families who need food now,” Brown concluded.

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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 18.5 million meals annually. Learn more at, or