Ozarks Food Harvest’s Hungerthon raises record $260,422 for children facing hunger

September 13, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest and iHeartRadio Springfield’s 24th annual Hungerthon wrapped up this afternoon, collecting a record-breaking $260,422 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program. Community members and businesses came together for this four-day event to provide 723 kids facing 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. One in 5 children faces hunger in southwest Missouri, especially on the weekends when school meals aren’t available.

“We’re so thankful for iHeartRadio’s partnership again this year to raise funds for our Weekend Backpack Program,” said Bart Brown, Ozarks Food Harvest’s president/CEO. “It’s a blessing to live in a community that gives so generously to children facing hunger.”

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 outside the Historic Tower Theater in Springfield.

“It’s always such an honor to work with Ozarks Food Harvest to help feed children facing hunger in our community,” said Clint “Girlie” Gerlek, VP of programming for iHeartRadio and Hungerthon co-host. “Thank you to everyone who made a donation and helped ensure that 723 children will have meals over the weekend for an entire school year.”

Last year’s event raised more than $250,000 — 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 $2.6 million to provide 1.8 million meals to children in southwest Missouri.

Backpacks were matched by individuals, businesses and foundations including A-1 Guarantee Roofing, Animal Health Center Hospital and Clinic, AECI, CoxHealth, Cronkhite Homes, Harter House, Heart of America Beverage Company, McDonald’s, Positronic Industries, Ross Construction, Ron and Janice Penney, Keith and Sandra Stover, SRC Community Relations Committee and Yahweh’s Place at Cedarville. Several local businesses also served as event sponsors including Air Services All Services, Hy-Vee and Wonders of Wildlife.

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 reaches 50,000 individuals monthly and provides more than 20 million meals annually. Learn more at,, or