Charlie O’Reilly: Report highlights good work at ofh

April 20, 2016 in Charlie's Corner

Charlie's Corner3Greetings from the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief!

Each spring, the team at Ozarks Food Harvest produces an honor roll of donors and annual report that highlights the great work made possible by the many loyal supporters of The Food Bank.

I’ll share with you just some of the highlights that I enjoyed reading, but please pick up a copy of your own at Ozarks Food Harvest or read it online.

Since moving into the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief in 2009, Ozarks Food Harvest has increased its annual distribution by nearly 10 million pounds to provide 16.8 million pounds of food, or 14 million meals, this past fiscal year.

That kind of exponential growth demonstrates both the need in our community, and the commitment of donors to help their struggling neighbors.

By providing food and equipment grants to its network of 200 partner pantries, Ozarks Food Harvest infused the equivalent of $28.8 million into hunger-relief in the Ozarks in fiscal year 2015 alone.

That’s no small endeavor.

It’s powerful to read about the millions of meals provided to those in need, including 2.69 million meals right here in Greene County. Each meal represents a child or adult who has benefitted from your generosity.

OFH FY15 Annual Report_page 1Like the hundreds of children who receive food at After-School or Summer Food programs, or the 1,600 kids who benefit every week during the school year from the Weekend Backpack Program. Nearly 468,000 meals were provided last year through just these programs.

And of course, none of this at Ozarks Food Harvest would be possible without the incredible agencies that partner with The Food Bank to give food directly to people in need.

As I read through the report, the importance of partnerships kept coming to mind. Without the individual and corporate donors, partner pantries, staff, board and volunteers, none of this would be possible.

I’m thankful to count myself as one part of this critical organization. And I’m thankful my friends at Ozarks Food Harvest can count on you, too.

Bart recently shared with me an email he received from Danny, a 60-year-old man who received food from a mobile pantry in West Plains. Danny shared that he never received assistance from a pantry before, but after suffering from a brain stem stroke three years ago, he has come to need help from others.

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank the Ozarks Food Harvest group as a whole, and for what they do. Blessings to all of you. Again, thank you all,” he wrote.

Bart shared with me that Danny’s email was a great example of why Ozarks Food Harvest exists. I couldn’t agree more.

Please give Bart a call today to learn how you can use your time and treasure to help those in our community who are struggling.

Charlie O’Reilly is the vice-chair of O’Reilly Automotive’s Board of Directors, a hunger-relief advocate and supporter of Ozarks Food Harvest.