Ozarks Food Harvest’s 21st annual Hungerthon raises $156,564 for children facing hunger
Hunger Action Month fundraiser will provide weekend meals for 522 kids in southwest Missouri
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Community members and businesses across the Ozarks came together this weekend to provide 522 at-risk kids with nutritious meals every weekend of the school year.
Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartMedia’s 21st annual Hungerthon wrapped up this morning, collecting $156,564 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program. The initiative provides more than 1,600 food-insecure children with food to take home every Friday throughout the entire school year. One in five children in southwest Missouri struggle with hunger, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.
“Year after year, generous donors and partners continue to pledge their support to help provide weekend meals for children in the Ozarks,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “We are so thankful for the kindness and care of the surrounding community.”
Kevin Howard and Liz Delany from 105.9 KGBX hosted the radio-thon, which began at 6 a.m. Friday and ended at 10 a.m. today outside the Historic Tower Theater in Springfield. Those involved spent 30 hours this weekend raising funds for the Weekend Backpack Program.
“Liz and I have been doing this for 21 years and this has been our most successful Hungerthon yet,” said Kevin Howard of The Kevin and Liz Show. “We couldn’t be more proud to be affiliated with Ozarks Food Harvest for all the hard work they do to make sure kids are going to have food to eat on the weekends.
Backpacks were matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including Anthem, Commerce Bank, Kathy Copeland, CoxHealth, DairiConcepts, Fireworks Supermarket, Fraternal Order of Eagles #3934 Auxiliary, Harter House-Hollister, Nancy Jester, Kum & Go Charitable Fund, Mass Mutual, Musgrave Foundation, Peck Insurance & Financial Services, Ron & Janice Penney, Ron & Lezah Stenger, SGC Foodservice and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Several local businesses including Expedia Group, Air Services All Services, Morrison, Webster and Carlton and Mid-Missouri Bank served as event sponsors.
If community members were unable to participate in Hungerthon, pledges can still be made securely online at ozarksfoodharvest.org/donate, where funds can be designated to the Weekend Backpack Program.
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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 ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.