Springfield students collect record number of meals during Food Fight
Seventh annual SPS food and fund drive provides 39,350 meals thanks to participating schools and organizations
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Forty-two Springfield Public Schools and 33 partnering organizations battled this January to win the seventh annual Food Fight competition to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest.
This year, food and funds were donated to provide a 39,350 meals – a Food Fight record. The donations will benefit Ozarks Food Harvest’s partner food pantries in Springfield, including SPS school pantries at Jarrett Middle School, Hillcrest and Central high schools. A portion of funds collected will sponsor 12 children for a full school year of Weekend Backpack Program meals.
The Food Fight champion in the middle school category is Cherokee Middle School. Parkview High School is the winner in the high school category. These schools will be awarded traveling trophies this month.
The five elementary schools with classes winning field trips to Ozarks Food Harvest to see first-hand how food donations are processed are Boyd, Pershing, Robberson, McGregor and Bright Stars Early Childhood Center.
“Springfield Public Schools is grateful for our partners at Ozarks Food Harvest and the work they do across the region to address food insecurity,” said Marty Moore, executive director of Learning Support and Partnerships at SPS. “Food Fight is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. It’s exciting to witness the enthusiasm of students competing in the Food Fight each year and to see first-hand their engagement in our community. This year we’re especially grateful for the record number of SPS partners who supported sites in raising a record level of meals.”
Since the competition began in 2010, SPS students and partners have provided nearly 145,000 meals for children, families and seniors served by The Food Bank.
“This annual competition gives students a chance to learn about how hunger affects one in seven adults and one in five kids in the Ozarks. And chances are, these kids know someone who is hungry, or they are facing that challenge themselves,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “All the food and funds collected stay right here in Greene County, making this a perfect opportunity for kids to make an impact in their community.”
Area businesses and nonprofits partnered with schools to serve as collection points. Partners included Central Christian Church, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Culver’s, Doubletree Hilton, Great Southern Bank, H&R Block, Just for Him, Little Caesar’s, The Martin Center, O’Reilly Automotive, Pasta Express, Price Cutter, T-Mobile, Towneplace Suites, and Township 28 Apartments.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 16.8 million meals annually to more than 261,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.