It's been rough for us. Keeping the electricity on is our biggest challenge. Without the food pantry, we would probably have to choose between paying the bills and eating. That's not a choice I want to submit my wife and daughter to. Mark, age 50

The slow economic recovery increases challenges for Ozarks families

Nearly 70% of families served by OFH choose between paying for food and utilities

The average family who accesses charitable food assistance in the Ozarks includes a member who has attained a high school degree, GED or college degree. And, many households served by Ozarks Food Harvest’s network actually have some form of employment, but they still struggle to meet their basic needs. An estimated 39 percent of households have a member who has worked within the last year. But unfortunately, in more than 75 percent of these homes, the most-employed individual is currently out of work. If not seeking employment, the family member is disabled, a caretaker or retired.

Families in the Ozarks face challenges in affording adequate food to feed themselves and their families. Many exercise a variety of coping strategies to ensure they have enough food, such as purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food to make ends meet. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—along with Ozarks Food Harvest’s member food pantries and feeding sites and The Food Bank’s programs like the Mobile Food Pantry—help families through hard times.


Together we can solve hunger

One job loss away from losing everything

Food insecurity can happen to anyone. In Ozarks Food Harvest’s service area, roughly 80 percent of client families shared that they use multiple strategies for getting enough food, like eating food past its expiration date or watering down food—and even pawning and selling personal property, like Mark’s family shown here. Watch Mark’s family give back by volunteering. You can help an Ozarks family just like Mark’s when they are needing it most.


Programs for Families

  • Mobile Food Pantry

    Ozarks Food Harvest's pantry on wheels delivers bulk loads of food to central locations in rural areas, or to member food pantries that do not have adequate freezer or cooler space.

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  • Summer Food

    Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year are also at risk of hunger during the summer months.

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  • SNAP

    Ozarks Food Harvest conducts SNAP, or food stamp, outreach across 28 Missouri counties to educate those who are eligible to receive benefits about the application process.

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