News

Denise Gibson: Thanks, Ozarks, for support

October 14, 2015 in From Denise's Desk Harvest Time Newsletter

Denise 10This year’s Hunger Action Month was one of the best yet. We had more outreach and fundraising events than ever before, and you really stepped up to help Ozarks Food Harvest.

Our friends at iHeartMedia did an incredible job with Hungerthon, new to 105.9 KGBX this year. It was certainly a highlight of Hunger Action Month. Over $125,000 was raised for the Weekend Backpack Program to give area children food over the weekend when school lunches aren’t available and they might otherwise go hungry. Over the four day ratio-thon, I watched Kevin and Liz put in long hours sharing with listeners exactly why it is so crucial that they donate to this program.

It’s partners like this that make raising awareness of the issue of hunger possible. At Ozarks Food Harvest, we work every day to feed people across 28 Missouri counties, and community support is imperative to be able to grow much-needed food assistance programs.

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Annual Day of Caring provides 55,000 meals

Annual Day of Caring provides 55,000 meals

October 14, 2015 in Harvest Time Newsletter

Over 500 hours of service was donated to Ozarks Food Harvest by 325 volunteers, providing 55,000 meals to children, families and seniors in need during the 23rd Annual United Way Day of Caring.

Over 20,000 pounds of food was sorted in The Food Bank’s Volunteer Center, 1,442 Senior Food boxes were assembled, almost 2,000 pounds of food and $1,103 was collected during food drives, 77 pounds of produce was gleaned from Ozarks Food Harvest’s garden and area children wrote 632 notes of encouragement to fellow students who receive weekend food bags.

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September is Hunger Action Month!

August 27, 2015 in Donation drive Food drive

This year during Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, Ozarks Food Harvest will celebrate by holding events throughout the month of September to raise awareness of hunger issues in the Ozarks. Locally, one in six adults and one in four children are food insecure, which means they may not know where their next meal is coming from. More than 260,000 people in southwest Missouri receive food from The Food Bank every year.

Hunger Action Month is a nationwide campaign throughout September designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger and join the movement to help end hunger for the 49 million Americans who struggle.

Check out the 30 ways in 30 days calendar below to find out all the amazing ways you can help fight hunger this September!

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Local chefs provide new stove for Springfield Community Center

Local chefs provide new stove for Springfield Community Center

August 25, 2015 in Agency Spotlight

The Springfield Community Center, an Ozarks Food Harvest After-School Food Program site, received a generous donation of a new commercial-grade stove from a local executive chefs’ group.

Since 2010, the American Culinary Federation’s Springfield-Branson Chefs’ Association has volunteered at the Springfield Community Center to provide area children with lunch or dinner meals that are typically served at restaurants like Leong’s, Fire & Ice, Twin Oaks Country Club, Cook’s Kettle at Victory Mission, Nakato Japanese Steakhouse as well as demonstrations from food vendors, such as Sysco.

“The chefs provide more than just food and meals at the After-School Food Program,” said Calvin Allen, director of the Springfield Community Center. “They develop relationships and create bonds, providing a complete educational experience for the children.”

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Retired assistant finds purpose in volunteering

Retired assistant finds purpose in volunteering

August 6, 2015 in Volunteer Spotlight

After Arlene Eichler retired, she was anxious to find something meaningful to fill her days.

“I get up early and exercise,” the 71-year-old shared, “but after that I thought, ‘Now what am I going to do?’”

Arlene began volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest nearly four years ago and since then has given 657 hours of her time. She also volunteers twice a week with Well of Life, an OFH member agency.

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Backpack Program critical to sustain kids over weekends

Backpack Program critical to sustain kids over weekends

July 16, 2015 in Harvest Time Newsletter

For children in the Ozarks who are hungry, every day brings a new struggle.

Concentrating in school, finishing homework in the evenings and even playing outside with friends is not easy or fun with an empty stomach. The only meals thousands of these children can count on are breakfast and lunch at school.

When classes are dismissed on Friday afternoon, the weekend can seem awfully long to a child who doesn’t know where his or her meals will come from.

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Bart Brown: Record number of meals distributed

July 16, 2015 in Bart's Hope Notes Harvest Time Newsletter

View More: http://twintownstudios.pass.us/ozark-food-harvestI’m thrilled to share with you that Ozarks Food Harvest has hit a new distribution goal and has served more meals than ever before! In fiscal year 2014, The Food Bank distributed 16.3 million pounds of food, providing 13.6 million meals to our neighbors in need in southwest Missouri.

The number of meals served surpassed our strategic goal by over one million meals! This is all possible because of selfless donors, like you, who give your time, food or funds to support The Food Bank.

We know that each meal provided to a hungry child, unemployed adult or disabled senior means more to them than we will ever know. Behind each meal served, there is a story. And that’s what keeps us pushing to continually increase our distribution. We met Cathy at a recent Mobile Food Pantry distribution in rural Howell County where she was both a recipient and a volunteer. She shared with us that she is so grateful for the food.

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Rotary clubs feed the Ozarks

Rotary clubs feed the Ozarks

July 16, 2015 in Harvest Time Newsletter

Springfield Rotary clubs hosted a Rotary Feeds the Ozarks volunteer day at Ozarks Food Harvest on June 27. Eighty-eight volunteers sorted nearly 19,000 pounds of food and assembled 591 senior food boxes. Together, this will provide 32,374 meals for children, families and seniors in the Ozarks.

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Charlie O’Reilly: Federal Child Nutrition Act needed for OFH programs

July 16, 2015 in Charlie's Corner Harvest Time Newsletter

Charlie's Corner3As you may know, dedicated Food Bank staff, volunteers and partner agencies work to distribute nearly 262,000 meals each week to people struggling with hunger in the Ozarks. Thirty percent of those served are children.

It’s hard to imagine, but one in every four children right here in southwest Missouri do not know where their next meal will come from.

The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program, Summer Food and After-School programs provide hope to these children who struggle with hunger.

I’m writing you today to ask for your help to make sure every child has enough to eat, which is something I believe in strongly and is a big reason why I support The Food Bank.

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Denise Gibson: Give Ozarks and The Great American Milk Drive rally community

July 16, 2015 in From Denise's Desk Harvest Time Newsletter

Denise 10This spring, Ozarks Food Harvest rallied the community to participate in two first-time events. Give Ozarks and The Great American Milk Drive made a significant impact on our neighbors in need. Through these efforts, we were able to spread our mission of hope to more people in the Ozarks.

The first-ever Give Ozarks was in an incredible success. The 24-hour online day of giving hosted by Community Foundation of the Ozarks raised $14,301 for the Weekend Backpack Program. Of the 175 individuals and organizations who donated, fifty percent of them were first time donors.

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