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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Ozarks Food Harvest opened a new 56,000-square-foot expansion, which will allow the food bank to accept more food and strive toward its goal of providing 28 million meals to close the meal gap to those in southwest Missouri.

SPRINGFIELD -- Ozarks Food Harvest provided 17.2 million meals last fiscal year, ending June 30, marking another record year of meal provision for food insecure individuals in southwest Missouri.

Throughout the year, the food bank contributed 790,000 of those meals through its SNAP outreach to eligible families. Without this outreach, many of these meals could go unclaimed.

"Each individual served by Ozarks Food Harvest has their own story," said Dr. Meera Scarrow OB/GYN at Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Ozarks Food Harvest's board president. "Whether it's a parent having to choose between feeding their children and keeping the lights on, or a senior who can't afford both groceries and medication, the food bank helps to ease these burdens throughout the community."

Ozarks Food Harvest recently opened a new 56,000-square-foot expansion, which will allow the food bank to accept more food and strive toward its goal of providing 28 million meals to close the meal gap.

"The expansion of our distribution center has allowed us to double in size and capacity," said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. "We are so grateful for generous donors who made this possible, and we look forward to creating a greater impact in the community."

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 agencies, the food bank reaches over 261,000 unduplicated children, families and seniors each year.

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About Ozarks Food Harvest

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, providing food to 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties serving 261,000 unduplicated individuals. The food bank provides 17 million meals annually.

Community on 09/13/2018

Print Headline: Ozarks Food Harvest Provides Over 17 Million Meals

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