Poverty Causes Daily Struggles in Rural Towns
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just how blessed we are. So many rural towns in the Ozarks face unique challenges each and every day. The week before Christmas, I had the opportunity to visit the small town of Niangua when
Santa made a special appearance to the local elementary school.
During the holiday event, the Musgrave Foundation generously provided bags of food, a small sack of candy and a new pair of shoes for each child in the community. Jerry Redfern, the foundation manager, donned Santa’s suit for the occasion.
As I drove through the town, I was quickly reminded of the heartbreaking prevalence of poverty in the rural communities we serve. Out of the six Feeding America food banks in Missouri, Ozarks Food Harvest has the largest service area—covering nearly 20,000 miles. So many of our hunger relief partners are located in small towns just like Niangua.
In these rural communities, low-paying jobs are common, infrastructure is minimal and a large percentage of the families live below the poverty line. At the end of the day after all of the bills are paid, many of these individuals
need help putting food on the table. Without Ozarks Food Harvest’s food pantries and programs, they would have nowhere to turn.
Today, I’m asking you to remember Ozarks Food Harvest and our important food distribution programs that allow us to support local communities—both large and small. I can assure you firsthand how priceless it is to see a child’s face when they receive something as simple as a bag of food and a new pair of shoes.
Remember, you can make a significant impact in the lives of your hungry neighbors today, tomorrow and throughout the year.