Ozarks Food Harvest’s Hungerthon raises record $253,550 for children facing hunger
Hunger Action Month fundraiser will provide weekend meals for 700 kids in southwest Missouri
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Community members and businesses across the Ozarks came together this weekend to provide more than 700 kids at risk of hunger with nutritious meals every weekend of the school year.
Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartRadio Springfield’s 22nd annual Hungerthon wrapped up this morning, collecting a record-breaking $253,550 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 5 children in southwest Missouri struggle with hunger, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.
“We were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with four stations this year,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “Donations for this program are needed now more than ever, and it was amazing to see how the community showed up to help children facing hunger by donating over the phone and online.”
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. today outside the Historic Tower Theater in Springfield.
“This was an unprecedented year for giving and much needed in the midst of what’s happening in our community,” said Clint Gurlie, radio DJ on 95.5 Alice. “This proves how invaluable an organization like Ozarks Food Harvest is to this community, and we are fortunate enough to be partnered with them.”
Backpacks were matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including AECI with a match from CoBank, AnswerForce, Anthem, CoxHealth, DairiConcepts, Fireworks Supermarket, Heart of America Beverage Company, Kum & Go Charitable Fund, MassMutual, Nancy Jester, Ron & Janice Penney, SRC, Lezah & Ron Stenger and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Several local businesses including Jersey Mike’s, Air Services All Services, Hy-Vee, Creative Car Audio, Morrison Webster and Carlton, Geico, Fazolis, Youngblood Honda and McKowen Family Dental served as event sponsors.
If community members were unable to participate in Hungerthon, pledges can still be made securely online at ozarksfoodharvest.org/donate/hungerthon.
# # #
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 22 million meals annually. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.