SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Ozarks Food Harvest food bank expanded its facility by 56,000 square feet.
The food bank held their ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday in honor of its new expansion, and new goals.
"With our existing facility that we built in 2009, we knew that we needed to provide about 30 million meals a year to really fill the need. We're now providing about 17 million meals, and this facility is going to let us do the rest," explained Ozarks Food Harvest President and CEO Bart Brown.
Ozarks food Harvest is the regional food bank for south west Missouri, serving 20,000 square miles and 300 different nonprofit organizations.
The new expansion will help increase food rescue efforts within the Ozarks and help close the hunger gap in southwest Missouri.
"This is allowing us to hopefully finish that meal gap that we know is present, and really a lot of our neighbors suffer quietly in hunger, not able to do their work, or study at school, or the basic things that we take for granted when we have a hot meal waiting for us when we get home," said Ozark Food Harvest Board President Meera Scarrow.
The $4.8 million project was made possible by donations from various individuals, organizations, foundations, including the O'Reilly family.
The new expansion includes five new truck docks, produce coolers, and expanded shelving units.
For more information on the Ozarks Food Harvest food bank, and how you can volunteer ,click HERE.