The eighth annual McDonald’s Cans for Coffee food drive collected nearly 20,000 pounds of food for Ozarks Food Harvest.
“Cans for Coffee is not only important to helping provide food to hungry Missourians, but it also draws awareness to the complex issue of hunger in our community,” shared Denise Gibson, OFH development and communication director.
When Julie lost her job in college admissions, and her husband went on disability after suffering an injury as a construction worker, eight-year-old Hailey was the most sensitive to the fact that her family was going through a hard time.
“Hailey is the one who watched me going through a huge binder of all our utility bills, credit card and mortgage statements, methodically calling each company to see who could work with us, as our savings dwindled,” Julie shared.
That’s why we’re thrilled to once again take part in the Walmart Hunger Challenge.
If you’re new to The Food Bank or haven’t heard of this grant, let me tell you more about it. For the past six years, the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program has awarded a grant to Ozarks Food Harvest to provide funding for our agencies. Those agencies then fundraise to receive the grant as a match. For instance, if we select one pantry to receive $5,000, the pantry raises an additional $5,000 to receive the full matching grant.
This year’s Hunger Action Month was one of the best yet. We had more outreach and fundraising events than ever before, and you really stepped up to help Ozarks Food Harvest.
Our friends at iHeartMedia did an incredible job with Hungerthon, new to 105.9 KGBX this year. It was certainly a highlight of Hunger Action Month. Over $125,000 was raised for the Weekend Backpack Program to give area children food over the weekend when school lunches aren’t available and they might otherwise go hungry. Over the four day ratio-thon, I watched Kevin and Liz put in long hours sharing with listeners exactly why it is so crucial that they donate to this program.
It’s partners like this that make raising awareness of the issue of hunger possible. At Ozarks Food Harvest, we work every day to feed people across 28 Missouri counties, and community support is imperative to be able to grow much-needed food assistance programs.
I’m thrilled to share with you that Ozarks Food Harvest has hit a new distribution goal and has served more meals than ever before! In fiscal year 2014, The Food Bank distributed 16.3 million pounds of food, providing 13.6 million meals to our neighbors in need in southwest Missouri.
The number of meals served surpassed our strategic goal by over one million meals! This is all possible because of selfless donors, like you, who give your time, food or funds to support The Food Bank.
We know that each meal provided to a hungry child, unemployed adult or disabled senior means more to them than we will ever know. Behind each meal served, there is a story. And that’s what keeps us pushing to continually increase our distribution. We met Cathy at a recent Mobile Food Pantry distribution in rural Howell County where she was both a recipient and a volunteer. She shared with us that she is so grateful for the food.
Local elementary students stepped up to fight hunger in the Ozarks this spring.
First grade students at Field Elementary donated $1,519.58 to The Food Bank. The students raised the funds by making crafts and selling them at a school-wide market.
The fourth-grade classes at Field created 39 pottery bowls and donated them to help raise awareness of hunger in the Ozarks through the Empty Bowls 2015 event in September. They also collected 29 pounds of food for people in need.
Greetings from the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief! I’m pleased to share with you the good news The Food Bank received last month — for the third consecutive year, Ozarks Food Harvest was awarded the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator.
Only 12 percent of charities in the country have received four star ratings for three consecutive years. This honor comes from the leading nonprofit corporation that evaluates charities across the country.