Ozarks Food Harvest sets goal to raise $20,000 during Give Ozarks
One in four children in southwest Missouri may not know where their next meal is coming from. Ozarks Food Harvest is asking the community to help these kids struggling with hunger by making a donation during the second annual Give Ozarks online day of giving on May 3.
The regional food bank has set a goal to raise $20,000 for its Weekend Backpack Program during the midnight to midnight drive. The Weekend Backpack Program provides 56,000 bags of food annually to kids in 52 schools across the Ozarks. Every donation of $8 will provide one child a bag of food filled with six meals for the weekend.
“The number of children in the Ozarks struggling with hunger continues to be too high, that’s why initiatives like the Weekend Backpack Program are so critical,” said Denise Gibson, director of development and communication at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Not only does the program provide food to kids in need, it gives them hope that someone cares.”
According to data released this week by Feeding America, Ozarks Food Harvest’s national partner, 22.9 percent of children in southwest Missouri are food insecure. That’s one in four children — higher than the Missouri average of 20.8 percent — who face uncertainty finding their next meal and may go to bed hungry.
“We’re excited to partner with Community Foundation of the Ozarks for this event, and ask that those who are passionate about ending hunger get involved,” said Gibson. “It takes all of us working together to make a difference.”
All donations made through Give Ozarks will ensure that at-risk children receive bags filled with nutritious, easy-open meals every weekend. If the goal is met, children in two participating schools will be sponsored for an entire year.
Give Ozarks sponsor DairiConcepts will match the first $5,000 donated on May 3, and Commerce Bank, Vance Chiropractic and Bohannon Auto Services made one-time donations that will help The Food Bank reach its goal.
Area restaurants have partnered with Ozarks Food Harvest to encourage their customers to donate. Anyone who gives on May 3 during Give Ozarks can get these special deals: Legacy Bagelry, free doughnut; Café Cusco, free dessert; Big Momma’s Coffee, free coffee or half-off a specialty drink; and Kingdom Coffee, buy one get one free house coffee.
Making a secure donation is simple. On May 3, donors can log onto giveozarks.org/2016/ofh to complete a secure and simple credit card donation. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 14 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.