The Food Bank continues to provide more meals each year, thanks to generous partners and donors
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Food Harvest provided 18.3 million meals last fiscal year, ending June 30, marking another record year of meal provision for food insecure children, families and seniors in southwest Missouri.
The Food Bank contributed 812,200 of those meals through its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) outreach to eligible families. Without this outreach, many of these meals could go unclaimed. It’s estimated that SNAP outreach helped contribute more than $4 million in economic stimulus in southwest Missouri.
“Food security is one of the most important measures of health and well-being in our community,” said Dr. Meera Scarrow, OB/GYN at Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Ozarks Food Harvest’s board president. “As we continue to close the meal gap in the Ozarks, we are thankful for another record-breaking year and our community partners that made this possible. There is no better way to care for our children, elders and neighbors than by making sure that all of us have access to food.”
Thanks to its 56,000 square-foot warehouse expansion last summer, Ozarks Food Harvest was also able to assist more than 1,400 federal workers affected by the federal government shutdown in January.
The expansion is also providing great value to The Food Bank as it continues to strive toward the goal of providing 28 million meals to close the meal gap and reduce food insecurity in southwest Missouri.
“We intend to close the meal gap as we continue to provide more meals each year,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “So many donors are helping us achieve this goal, and we could not be more grateful for their continued support of families in need.”
One in five children and one in seven adults in southwest Missouri are food insecure, meaning they are unsure where their next meal will come from. Through 270 hunger-relief partners, The Food Bank reaches over 261,000 unduplicated children, families and seniors each year.