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Moms and Money: Ozark Food Harvest

Volunteers pack food boxes at Ozark Food Harvest in Springfield, MO.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:37 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3)- It’s the time of year to eat drink, and be merry but for some in our area, that’s easier said than done.

“So one of the dramatic things that we’ve seen in the past year is, we were estimating that hunger within our service area used to be one in six children and one in seven adults and that’s now changed to one in five children and one in six adults,” said Jordan Browning, Public Information Officer at Ozark Food Harvest. “So we’ve seen that need dramatically increase.”

It’s a need that keeps Ozark Food Harvest busy year-round.

“So we serve approximately 30,000 families each week, we have 28 counties and 270 agencies that we serve,” said Stephanie Miller, Director of Community Resources.

Miller organizes the hundreds of volunteers it takes to serve those in need in the surrounding area.

“So right now behind me, we are having our morning volunteer session,” said Miler. “It runs from nine until noon and our volunteers today are sorting frozen (food). So we have another group of volunteers that are in our storeroom that is sorting produce from over the long holiday weekend, there’s quite a bit of stuff for us to get through.”

Miller said it’s a way to bring people together from all different backgrounds.

“Really cool, really cool, really fun people,” said Miller. “I will say we have lots of regulars. We kind of joke and say if we can get them to come through the door, one time they’re going to be back.”

Miller also said it’s a great way to keep the family busy during the Holidays.

“And it’s just a huge three-hour bonding experience.,” said Miller. “Instead of going out and spending money and going out and having to entertain your mom, when they’re coming here. There’s a lot of team building going on and then on top of that, at the end of the session, you realize how many people you’ve served, how many pounds of food you’ve handled, and how many meals are provided to everyone.”

To learn more about volunteering about Ozark Food Harvest click here.

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