Ozarks Food Harvest works to distribute food at an elevated rate, meet increased demand in the Ozarks

Ozarks Food Harvest provides record-breaking 22 million meals during COVID-19
Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:35 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Since April 2020, the Ozarks Food Harvest has distributed 22 million meals to its network of 270 hunger-relief organizations, making it the largest COVID-19-related donor to charities in southwest Missouri.

“22 million meals is a really great accomplishment of ours, and it really highlights the need that is still existing across southwest Missouri due to COVID 19,” explained Jordan Browning, public information officer at the Ozarks Food Harvest.

Although COVID-19 presented a perfect storm for The Food Bank in the past year. A combination of increased demand, declines in donations of food, and disruptions to the supply chain made feeding families in southwest Missouri more difficult than ever before.

“We don’t see that demand going away anytime soon,” said Browning. “We just want to make sure the community knows that we’re in it for the long-haul and we’re working to make sure everybody who needs food in southwest Missouri has access to it in the future.”

Ozarks Food Harvest is continuing to distribute meals at an elevated rate to move the needle and close the meal gap. Since April 2020, The Food Bank has purchased $3.6 million worth of food to ensure their network of hunger-relief organizations didn’t struggle to keep their shelves stocked. In addition, Ozarks Food Harvest has hosted 133 Mobile Food Pantries helping more than 64,000 individuals acquire food assistance for the first time in their lives.

“We’re committed to the long haul to make sure everyone who needs food can get it in southwest Missouri,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “As we deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19, we’re asking for the community’s support to ensure families facing hunger can get on the road to recovery. Every dollar donated will help provide $10 worth of groceries to people in need right now.”

The Food Bank estimated that an additional 194,000 individuals in the Ozarks are experiencing hunger due to the impact of the pandemic. Many families are receiving food assistance for the first time or for temporary relief during periods of unemployment.

Since the pandemic began, The Food Bank has spent more than $9 million to date on its COVID-19 relief response.

Click here for more information on how you can help the Ozarks Food Harvest.

Click here for more information on food assistance.

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