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, providing assistance to clients learning to grow their own food supply and offering financial support to community partners through granting programs.
OFH launched the program in 1999, primarily harvesting a single community garden. Today, The Food Bank partners with numerous farmers and growers to make a collective impact on the community’s food system—and on hunger and health.
By working together with key partners, Ozarks Food Harvest is able to help make a greater impact on hunger and health in southwest Missouri through community engagement, education, social responsibility and sustainable practices.
The Glean Team
During abundant production seasons, thousands of pounds of food goes to waste when there aren't enough hands to help harvest. The Glean Team helps solve this problem, while supporting production of locally grown produce.
Supplemental Produce Distributions
The Food Bank's Mobile Food Pantry brings loads of donated produce to established community gardens to help feed clients who are also volunteering.
OFH supports partners through pass-through grants, research and reporting in effort to make the biggest impact. Industrial-sized coolers are gifted to pantries to store produce.
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. The harvest is then distributed from The Food Bank to pantries and hunger-relief programs, or directly to agencies serving the food insecure.Become a Volunteer
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 with 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. The Food Bank also helps coordinate volunteers for these gardens each week during the growing season.
Springfield Community Gardens are located in neighborhoods, including Fairbanks, Grant Beach, Oak Grove, Weller and West Central.Become a Volunteer
The Glean Team has a ‘Home Base’.
As of February 2015, Ozarks Natural Foods has donated the use of 76 irrigated raised beds, two 30’ x 90’ high tunnels, storage for necessary supplies and common area for volunteer accommodations.
This farm garden will be 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.Become a Volunteer
Partnering with farmers to feed those in need
Ozarks Food Harvest also works to continually develop new relationships with local producers and gardening organizations. One local farm north of Springfield, The Fruit and Veggie Project Garden, commits half of its yield to Ozarks Food Harvest each year. Other ongoing supporters include gardens like Second Baptist Church’s Springfield Victory Garden and Fassnight Creek Farm. Gardening organizations like Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition are key partners providing sites for Glean Team volunteers as well as donation of abundant produce when available.
Plant an Extra Row
Have a garden already? Simply plant an extra row and designate its harvest for donation to Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave.
Volunteer with the Glean Team
Dig in the dirt, plant seeds, maintain high tunnels, nurture plants, harvest food, get exercise and vitamin D, make new friends and help provide healthy food to those in need. Apply to become a volunteer!
Donate your farm or garden
Do you have extra produce you'd like to donate? Contact OFH to set up a glean. Call (417) 865-3411 with what needs to be harvested and approximate number of rows/plants.