Ozarks Food Harvest’s Hungerthon raises record $254,910 for children facing hunger

September 13, 2021

Hunger Action Month fundraiser will provide weekend meals for 708 kids in southwest Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartRadio Springfield’s 23rd annual Hungerthon wrapped up this morning, collecting a record-breaking $254,910 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program. Community members and businesses came together for this four-day event to provide more than 708 kids at risk of hunger with nutritious meals every weekend of the school year.

The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program provides nearly 1,600 children with food to take home every Friday throughout the school year. In southwest Missouri, 1 in 5 children face hunger, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.

“We’re so grateful to partner with iHeartRadio again this year to raise funds for our Weekend Backpack Program,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “Thank you to the community and to everyone who made a donation this weekend. You’re helping give hope to a child in our community.”

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.

“It’s been another great year to raise funds for kids facing hunger in the Ozarks,” said Clint “Girlie” Gerlek, VP of programming for iHeartRadio and Hungerthon co-host. “We’re so proud to partner with a great organization like Ozarks Food Harvest to help families in our community get on the road to recovery.”

Backpacks were matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including A-1 Guarantee Roofing, AECI, The Bank of Missouri, Ethel Curbow, Harter House, Healthy Blue, Heart of America Beverage Company, Hy-Vee, Kum & Go, MassMutual, McDonald’s, Mother’s Brewing Company, Peck’s Insurance & Financial Services Inc., Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic, Positronic, Ron and Janice Penney, Ross Construction and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Several local businesses also served as event sponsors including Air Services All Services, Hy-Vee, and Jersey Mike’s. 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 hunger-relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 22 million meals annually to more than 261,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at, or