Ozarks Food Harvest’s Hungerthon raises $252,000 for children facing hunger

Ozarks Food Harvest’s Hungerthon raises $252,000 for children facing hunger

September 12, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartRadio Springfield’s 25th annual Hungerthon wrapped up this afternoon, collecting $252,900 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program. Community members and businesses came together for this four-day event to provide 703 kids facing hunger with nutritious meals every weekend of the school year.

The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program provides more than 1,700 children with food to take home every Friday throughout the school year. One in 7 children face hunger in southwest Missouri, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.

“iHeartRadio’s continued partnership has been such a blessing by allowing us to feed more kids through our Weekend Backpack Program,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “We’re so grateful to everyone in the community who listened and donated to ensure children don’t go hungry over the weekend in the Ozarks.”

Listeners tuned in to Alice 95.5, US97, 100.5 The Wolf and 105.9 KGBX throughout the four-day event, which began at 6 a.m. Friday and ended at 1 p.m. Monday at iHeartMedia’s south Glenstone location.

“It feels so special to work with Ozarks Food Harvest again this year to provide weekend backpacks for kids facing hunger,” said Clint “Girlie” Gerlek, VP of programming for iHeartRadio and Hungerthon co-host. “Thank you to everyone who tuned in with us to ensure more children have something to eat over the weekend for an entire school year.”

Last year’s event raised more than $260,000 — enough to provide more than 700 children facing hunger with a food bag every weekend for an entire school year. Since 1999, Hungerthon has raised $3.1 million to provide 2.2 million meals to children in southwest Missouri.

Backpack donations will be matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including A-1 Guarantee Roofing, AECI, BluCurrent Credit Union, CoxHealth, Great Southern Bank, Harter House, International Brotherhood of Electric Workers #453, Kum & Go, McDonald’s, Peck’s Insurance and Financial Services, Positronic Industries, SRC Community Relations Committee, Stomp the Blues Out of Homelessness, Watson Metal Masters Inc. and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Several local businesses also served as event sponsors including Air Services All Services and Hy-Vee.

If community members were unable to participate in Hungerthon, pledges can still be made securely online at

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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 faith-based and community charities across a third of Missouri. The Food Bank reaches 60,000 individuals monthly and provides more than 20 million meals annually. Learn more at, or