Ozarks Food Harvest encountered several challenges and successes over the past fiscal year, which ran from July 2019 to July 2020. As we press on through the rest of 2020, I want to take a moment to reflect.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. Some have lost jobs, others have lost family members and friends. A handful of local businesses have shuttered, and the way we interact socially has changed drastically.
With a passion for nonprofit work, Cindy Hawdon focuses on giving back. After retiring from a career in commercial insurance, Cindy settled in Springfield and connected with Ozarks Food Harvest to help with a need she saw in the community.
For years, Rick was a healthy, active man with a full life. He worked at the Walmart Auto Care Center in Branson and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. In late 2018, he left work early one day, feeling a little bit under the weather. He didn’t think much of it and planned to return to work when he felt better.
Becky Sattler, a wife and grandmother, manages the Miller Christian Service Center Food Pantry. Her passion for volunteering has spilled over into the rest of her family. Her husband joins her at the center, as do their grandkids whenever possible. Other retirees work with her to make a difference in their local community. High schoolers also donate their time to give out food with the organization. Many benefit from the unity and support this agency provides to people in need.
Ozarks Food Harvest is extremely thankful for every individual, foundation and business that contributed during the 22nd annual Hungerthon. The Food Bank and iHeartRadio Springfield teamed up with the community to raise funds for the Weekend Backpack Program. The four-day radiothon collected a record-breaking $253,426, which will provide 704 children with nutritious meals and snacks every weekend of the school year.
When they’re not opening bank accounts, depositing credit slips and helping customers, they are volunteering. Since they started working with us in 2016, Central Bank employees have donated more than 500 hours of their time to The Food Bank.
In southwest Missouri, far too many people struggle with hunger. Even more people are going hungry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This September, you can help raise awareness—and provide meals—by participating in Hunger Action Month.
Jamie, a member of the Elevate Work program, heads to class on Monday and Wednesday nights, learns valuable job skills and receives a hot dinner. On Tuesday, his daughter, Katie, attends the after-school reading program and eats dinner there with her friends. Jamie receives a hand-delivered sack lunch from Elevate Branson on Thursday. And on Sunday, he stops by for an optional church service and eats a hot breakfast.
After 38 years at The Coca-Cola Company, Kim Burton retired. As she filled her days with cleaning and organizing her home, she quickly decided she wanted to do more. Lucky for us, Kim came to volunteer at The Food Bank and has been helping out since the end of 2019.