SPS and Ozarks Food Harvest kick off 12th annual Food Fight on March 20

March 16, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Springfield Public Schools and Ozarks Food Harvest students are kicking off the 12th annual Food Fight competition on March 20 to help raise meals and awareness for families facing hunger in southwest Missouri.

Food Fight is an annual two-week competitive food and fund drive between multiple SPS schools and their partner organizations that wraps up on March 31. The elementary, middle and high school that collect the most food and funds per student will be named 2023 Food Fight Champs. This year’s Food Fight has 40 SPS schools, including two administrative offices, competing with support from several local partners.

“We’re so excited to partner with Ozarks Food Harvest again to help raise meals for our neighbors facing hunger,” said Dr. Ron Woodard, Director of Family Support Services for Springfield Public Schools. “Food Fight is a great way for kids to get involved in their community and help end hunger in the Ozarks.”

Ozarks Food Harvest distributes the food donations across its 28-county service area, and the fund donations sponsor children for the Weekend Backpack Program. Since the competition began in 2011, SPS students and partners have helped provide nearly 360,000 meals for families served by The Food Bank and helped sponsor 190 children for the Weekend Backpack Program. “One in 5 children face hunger in southwest Missouri, so many students likely know someone experiencing this challenge,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “We appreciate Springfield Public Schools for their partnership and helping us draw attention to the issue of hunger in southwest Missouri.”

The Food Bank also has a couple ways for the community to get involved in this year’s Food Fight. Rapid Roberts, presenting sponsor for Food Fight, is accepting donations at the register or through scanning a QR code at the pump through March 31. Little Caesars Pizza is also offering a coupon for free crazy bread with each donation made at the register through March 31.

Area businesses and nonprofits partnering with schools will serve as collection points. Partners include Craig Lehman Shelter Insurance, Culver’s, Double Tree Hotel, Little Caesars, Mid-Missouri Bank, Penmac Staffing, The Sandwich Scene and Starbucks.

Last year’s winners were Weaver Elementary School with support from Penmac Staffing, Cherokee Middle School with support from Mid-Missouri Bank and Central High School with support from The Sandwich Scene.

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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