Full Circle Gardens

Working on the Full Circle Gardens project has allowed me to see firsthand why Ozarks Food Harvest is so successful in reaching its goals every year. Food security is integral to the health of our communities. That basic need impacts so many other community issues. Dr. Meera Scarrow, OB/GYN, Mercy Hospital-Springfield & president of OFH board

Providing more than just fresh produce

Ozarks Food Harvest’s Full Circle Gardens program helps strengthen the local food system by rescuing fresh produce for those in need, harvesting donors’ fields and gardens and providing education to community members and member agencies.

OFH launched the program in 1999, primarily harvesting a single community garden. Today, The Food Bank collaborates with dozens of local partners to make a collective impact on the community’s food system. By working together, Ozarks Food Harvest is able to help make a greater impact on hunger and health in southwest Missouri through providing a local source of fresh produce, community engagement, education and modeling sustainable practices.

  • 33K

    Pounds harvested by Glean Team

    Volunteers harvest produce from the OFH Garden in Rogersville and local farms to provide tens of thousands of pounds of food every year.

  • 7

    Sites directly benefitting

    Senior centers, a domestic violence shelter and north Springfield neighborhoods benefit from weekly distributions.

  • 20K

    Plant A Row donations

    Home gardeners and compassionate farmers donate tens of thousands of pounds each year from their crops to support local food pantries and feeding programs.

Working Together

glean team circle

Gleaners work with area farmers in several counties

Harvest On Wheels has been “gleaning” for Ozarks Food Harvest for many years. Locally, this group of committed volunteers, alongside Ozarks Food Harvest’s Glean Team, rescues or harvests fresh local produce from gardens such as Fassnight Creek Farm in Springfield and local farmers markets. The harvest is then distributed from The Food Bank to pantries and hunger-relief programs, or directly to agencies serving the food insecure.

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Empowerment through education and fellowship

Springfield Community Gardens works with a network of about 20 volunteer community gardens to grow healthy food, build relationships and generate social capital for each new garden. In partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s Chronic Disease Prevention unit, SCG distributes produce to families and seniors within identified neighborhood garden sites to help supplement garden production even in the off season, which also helps Ozarks Food Harvest utilize perishable donations before they reach expiration.

Springfield Community Gardens are located in neighborhoods, including Fairbanks, Grant Beach, Oak Grove, Weller and West Central.

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The Glean Team has a ‘Home Base’.

This farm garden is the ‘home base’ for Glean Team volunteer sessions. Volunteers help with production of fresh produce including but not limited to carrots, lettuce, potatoes, kale, chard, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

Ozarks Food Harvest is thankful for Hippocrates Farm for providing this beautiful space.

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Partnering with farmers to feed those in need

Ozarks Food Harvest also works to continually develop new relationships with local producers and gardening organizations. Ongoing produce donation supporters include gardens like Second Baptist Church’s Springfield Victory Garden, Fassnight Creek Farm and Temple Israel. Supporting organizations like University of Missouri Extension are key partners providing technical assistance for high tunnel repair and management. Additional support comes from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker’s Creek Heirloom SeedsSteinert’s Greenhouse and Nursery and the Walt Disney Company.

Contact OFH’s Full Circle Gardens Coordinator Alexa Poindexter at (417) 865-3411 ext. 120 or apoindexter@ozarksfoodharvest.org.

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