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Walmart and Community Foundation of the Ozarks responding with major gifts

Hunger in America 2010 is the largest study of domestic hunger, providing comprehensive and statistically-valid data on our emergency food distribution system and the people Feeding America and Ozarks Food Harvest serves.

Ozarks Food Harvest announces that its Network is feeding three times as many people than previously projected, according to The Food Bank’s largest, most comprehensive report ever conducted on emergency food distribution in the Ozarks.

The Food Bank says an unprecedented number of individuals in southwest Missouri are seeking hunger relief assistance—approximately 155,000 access Ozarks Food Harvest’s services annually. Bart Brown, president/CEO of OFH, says the organization needs more help in order to reach its goal of distributing 12 million pounds of food items annually within three years.

“Clearly, the economic recession, resulting in dramatically increasing unemployment nationwide, has driven unprecedented, sharp increases in the need for emergency food assistance and enrollment in federal nutrition programs,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization of which Ozarks Food Harvest is a member. “The 2010 Hunger Study exposes the absolutely tragic reality of just how many people in our nation don’t have enough to eat. Millions of our clients are families with children finding themselves in need of food assistance for the very first time.” 

Proactive organizations Walmart and the Community of the Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) are teaming up to increase hunger relief efforts, along with Ozarks Food Harvest and its members, across one-third the state of Missouri. Ozarks Food Harvest will use the funds from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program as a challenge grant opportunity for the CFO affiliate community foundations throughout The Food Bank’s 29-county service area.

“While we continue to serve increasing numbers of hungry people in our service area, the need of hungry individuals across the Ozarks far outpaces our current level of service,” said Bart Brown. “We will continue to partner with supporters such as the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, along with other hunger relief organizations to bring more food and funds into our part of the heartland in order to ensure that our clients have access to adequate food and nutrition.”

To learn more:

Skip Tinney, market manager, Walmart; Bart Brown, president/CEO, Ozarks Food Harvest; and Brian Fogle, executive vice president, Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Photo Credit: Ozarks Food Harvest