Ozarks Food Harvest reports more families seeking food assistance now than during height of pandemic

November 16, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest reports more families are now seeking food assistance from their network of 270 faith-based and community partners than during the height of the pandemic. In the past three months, The Food Bank’s network of faith-based and community partners served an average 62,000 individuals each month; nearly 12,000 more than during the same period in 2020 and 2021. Ozarks Food Harvest has seen the demand for food increase every month across its 28-county service area since February.

The Food Bank says the increased demand for food is the result of a perfect storm of inflation, increased food prices and supply chain issues. To keep up with demand, Ozarks Food Harvest continues to distribute record amounts of food for free to its network, including local partners such as Crosslines Springfield, Salvation Army Springfield and Least of These.

“The need is actually more urgent now than at the height of the COVID crisis, and we anticipate food and utility bills will only get higher as we enter the holiday months,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “The best way for the local community to help right now is with a donation because we can take $1 and turn that into $10 worth of groceries for a family in need.”

In the past year, Ozarks Food Harvest purchased more than $2.5 million worth of food. They also awarded $1 million in grant funds to their hunger-relief network to ensure more food could be distributed as demand increased.

“As prices continue to rise, we’re committed to delivering food door-to-door to our partners free of charge,” said Brown. “We supply 70 percent of the food our network of faith-based and community partners distribute. It’s our job to keep their shelves stocked, so they can focus on serving families facing hunger in their communities.”

In southwest Missouri, 1 in 5 children and 1 in 6 adults face hunger, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Ozarks Food Harvest provides more than 20 million meals annually across its 28-county service area. If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation to Ozarks Food Harvest this holiday season, please visit

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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 270 hunger-relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank reaches 50,000 individuals monthly and provides more than 20 million meals annually. Learn more at,, or