SPS and Ozarks Food Harvest kick off 13th annual Food Fight today

SPS and Ozarks Food Harvest kick off 13th annual Food Fight today

March 18, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Springfield Public Schools and Ozarks Food Harvest students are kicking off the 13th annual Food Fight competition on March 18 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 29. The elementary, middle and high school that collect the most food and funds per student will be named 2024 Food Fight Champs. This year’s Food Fight has 42 SPS schools, including four 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 440,000 meals for families served by The Food Bank and helped sponsor 242 children for the Weekend Backpack Program.

“About 1 in 7 children in southwest Missouri face hunger, so chances are, students know someone dealing with this issue,” said Jordan Browning, director of communications at Ozarks Food Harvest. “We’re thankful for Springfield Public Schools for teaming up with us again to bring attention to child hunger in the Ozarks.”

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 April 12. Little Caesars Pizza is also offering a coupon for free crazy bread with each donation made at the register through March 29.

Area businesses and nonprofits partnering with schools will serve as collection points. Partners include Alamo Drafthouse, Battlefield Fire Protection District, Double Tree Hotel, Little Caesars, Local Bevy, Mama Jeans, Mid-Missouri Bank, My Salon Studios, Oasis Hotel & Convention Center, Penmac Staffing, Rapid Roberts and Resurrection Church.

Last year’s winners were Mallory Early Childhood Center, Bowerman Elementary with support from Craig Lehman Shelter Insurance, Cowden Elementary with support from Starbucks, Horace Mann Elementary with support from Starbucks, Rountree Elementary with support from Starbucks, York Elementary with support from Rapid Roberts, Pleasant View K-8 with support from Culver’s, Reed Academy with support from Penmac Staffing and Study Alternative with support from Rapid Roberts.

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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 faith-based and community charities across a third of Missouri. The Food Bank reaches 70,000 individuals monthly and provides more than 20 million meals annually. Learn more at, or