$100,000 award to be presented to Ozarks Food Harvest

September 10, 2010

Ozarks Food Harvest wins Walmart Foundation Associate Choice Program

WHAT:  Walmart Foundation check presentation to Ozarks Food Harvest

WHERE:  Ozarks Food Harvest O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. in the North Creek Business Park in North Springfield, Mo.

WHEN:  Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest received the most votes from Walmart and Sam’s Club associates across the state during the Walmart Foundation Associate Choice Program, earning The Food Bank a $100,000 grant.

The Walmart Foundation will present the check to food bank officials at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at Ozarks Food Harvest in North Springfield.

Ozarks Food Harvest was originally chosen as one of only five nonprofit finalists in the entire state for a chance to receive the Associate Choice Program award. Missouri Walmart and Sam’s Club associates had from mid-July through mid-August to cast an online vote for the charity they felt was most deserving of the grant award. Other nonprofit finalists in Missouri included Every Child’s Hope, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, Missouri Council on Economic Education and Parents as Teachers National Center.

According to The Food Bank, the timing for the announcement is perfect, as September is national Hunger Action Month — a multi-faceted effort to mobilize the public to fight hunger.

“Hunger is at a crisis level in communities across the Ozarks. Nearly one-third of our client households we interviewed told us that they are sometimes completely without food. That’s the bad news,” said Bart Brown, president and CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “The good news is that supporters like the Walmart Foundation are stepping forward to help us end hunger. We were elated to have been chosen as one of the five finalists, but to have won this program’s contest, illustrates that people do see that the implications of a long-term economic recovery means demand for food assistance will continue to increase for the next several years.”

The six week voting program awarded $5 million in grants to statewide organizations across the U.S. Of those funds, $3.6 million are supporting hunger relief organizations based on votes from company associates. Walmart has recently announced $2 billion commitment to help end hunger in America. Through the “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will give $250 million in grants to hunger relief organizations and donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion.

“As a company, we operate globally but look for opportunities to give back locally,” said Walmart Market Manager Skip Tinney. “We’re pleased that Walmart associates chose to support Missouri.”

Ozarks Food Harvest leverages every dollar donated to $10 worth of food distribution into 28 Ozarks counties.

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About Ozarks Food Harvest­—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the only food bank in southwest Missouri, serving more than 300 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank reaches more than 155,000 individuals and distributes 8.5 million pounds of food annually—made possible due to its network of charities and direct-relief programs such as the Weekend Backpack Program™, Kids Cafe® and the Mobile Food Pantry™ program. Learn more at and at

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit