Author Archives: Ozarks Food Harvest

About Ozarks Food Harvest

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 200 hunger-relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 12.5 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. OFH was named the 2011 Small Business of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and it’s facility, the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief, has received two AIB International food safety "superior" ratings. Founded in 1983, Ozarks Food Harvest has a stated mission of Transforming Hunger into Hope. The simple statement serves as a visionary and meaningful summary of Ozarks Food Harvest’s goals, while expressing exactly what it is The Food Bank does. In addition to food distribution and services to 200 Ozarks nonprofits, OFH has direct-service programs including the Weekend Backpack Program™, After-school and Summer Food programs, the Mobile Food Pantry™ and more.

Less-than-pretty food gets love, too!

Volunteers with Ozarks Food Harvest’s Glean Team have been busy this summer rescuing excess food from local farms and gardens, as mentioned in a previous blog post. While not all of the food harvested was suitable to donate directly to the pantries, it was still edible. This includes tomatoes that may have a big split in the side or sweet potato parts and pieces that are too small to make up a full meal.

But, thanks to Amanda Owen at the Homegrown Food Hub, those less-than-pretty fruits and vegetables were turned into something scrumptious – keeping them from going to waste! Two items, Bruschetta and Sweet Potato Cupcakes, will be available to sample at the Food Day event tomorrow at Missouri State University’s Plaster Student Union, in the 2nd floor atrium.

You’re invited to learn how many local organizations, producers and businesses are working together to establish ways to reduce food waste and create a value-added product.  Special thanks to the following partners for helping make this happen:

OFH Glean Team Volunteers
Homegrown Food Hub
The Artisan’s Oven
Urban Roots Farm
Ozark Mountain Creamery, LLC
McKaskle Family Farm, LLC

For more information about the MSU Food Day event tomorrow, click here.

Radio-thon during Hunger Action Month provides Weekend Backpacks

Ozarks Food Harvest and Alice 95.5’s 16th annual radio-thon, Hungerthon, wrapped up on Monday, September 8, raising 132,581.50 for The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program—the most ever collected during the annual event.

Alice 95.5 personalities Kevin Howard and Liz Delany hosted Hungerthon, beginning last Friday morning at 6 a.m. outside the Historic Tower Theater in Springfield. Those involved spent close to 30 hours since last Friday raising money for Ozarks Food Harvest.

This year’s goal of $125,000 was exceeded, providing 442 at-risk children across the Ozarks with Weekend Backpack Program food bags. The program provides food insecure children with nutritious, child-friendly food items to take home over the weekends.

Several backpacks were matched by community businesses and foundations including MassMutual Financial Group, The Musgrave Foundation, Peck’s Insurance & Financial Services, Springfield Grocer Company, SRC Holdings, Taylor Communications and the Tal & Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten Family Foundation, Yahweh’s Place of Cedarville, MO and many others.

Event sponsors included Family Pharmacy and Sonic. Power Hour sponsors included Air Services, Bambino’s, Big Whiskey’s, Columbia College, Coyote’s Adobe Café, Fire and Ice, Krispy Kreme, May Motor Company, McKowen Family Dental, Metal Depots, Qdoba/Morelock Ross, The Buzz, Title Boxing and Wickman’s.

Forty-six southwest Missouri schools participate in Ozarks Food Harvest’s Backpack Program, which distributes more than 50,000 backpacks annually.

If community members were unable to participate in the community-wide event Sept. 5–8, pledges can still be made at Ozarks Food Harvest or securely online at For a donation of $300, or $25 monthly, a child will receive two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, two snacks, drinks and hygiene items every single weekend of an entire school year. Donors can also sponsor a child for a semester at $150, or 12.50 monthly. For more information, call (417) 865-3411.

Last year’s event raised $128,901. Since 1999, more than $1 million has been raised through Hungerthon. Find out more about local Hunger Action Month activities at