Springfield students collect record number of meals during 2020 Food Fight

February 19, 2020

Ninth annual SPS food and fund drive provides 66,700 meals for families facing hunger in the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Eighty-three Springfield Public Schools and partnering organizations collected a record-breaking 66,700 meals in the ninth annual Food Fight competition to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest.

Students spent two weeks in January collecting food and fund donations. The food donations will benefit Ozarks Food Harvest’s partner food pantries in Springfield, including SPS school pantries. The collected funds will sponsor 40 children for a full school year of Weekend Backpack Program meals.

The five elementary schools with classes winning field trips to tour Ozarks Food Harvest are Boyd, Cowden, Fremont, Sequiota and Wilson’s Creek. Cherokee is the winner in the middle school category, and Parkview is the winner in the high school category. Study Alternative is the K-8 winner, and Shady Dell ECC is the early childhood center winner. These schools will be awarded traveling trophies this month.

“Each year, SPS looks forward to participating in the annual Food Fight event to help provide support for families facing hunger,” said Jean Grabeel, director of health services for Springfield Public Schools. “We are continually amazed by the generosity and compassion of our students, staff and families and we appreciate Ozarks Food Harvest for all it does to meet such a critical need.”

Since the competition began in 2011, SPS students and partners have provided more than 272,000 meals for children, families and seniors served by The Food Bank.

“This event is as important to us as it is to the schools,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “It teaches children that their donations can make a difference in the lives of the people that surround them every day.”

Area businesses and nonprofits partnered with schools to serve as collection points. Partners included 5 Pound Apparel, Air Services & All Service Plumbing, Battlefield UMC, Central Christian Church, City Music, Cox Health Martin Center, Culver’s, Doubletree by Hilton, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Expedia, Great Southern Bank, Greene County Damaged Freight, Grizzly Industrial Inc., Incredible Pizza, King’s Chapel, Little Caesars Pizza, Mercy Care Management, Mid-Missouri Bank, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Parkcrest Dental Group, Penmac Staffing, Springfield Sign, Superior Telecom Services, Systematic Savings Bank, Vital Farms – Egg Central Station and Wyndham Destinations.

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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 18.5 million meals annually. Learn more at, or