SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozark Food Harvest helps families across 28 different counties in Missouri, which is roughly one-third of the state. 

The organization has seen an increase of people needing help by 12,000 more per month. 

However, this year has been challenging for the non-profit due to the economy. 

Jordan Browning, a spokesperson for Ozarks Food Harvest says one Thanksgiving tradition has certainly been hard to come by. 

“So it’s been a challenge for us the entire year to source turkeys just for the Thanksgiving season. We placed an order for 2 caseloads way back in February to make sure they were here and our order was still cut short due to supply chain issues. ” 

Browning says to combat the turkey shortage issue they spent  $2.5 million to buy other food to stock up their pantries to help out families.

In addition, Browning says they have also invested another million dollars to maintain the food, new refrigerators, new freezers, and storage. 

“Yeah, so it is been an incredible challenge right now because we are seeing so many families that have never needed help before coming to our doors. Just last week we were doing one of our mobile food pantries and an 80-year-old grandmother came to us in tears when we were giving her her food because she said I have never had to get services like this before. But I have to take care of my grandkids. So I have to do what I have to do, “ said Browning. 

With families needing help now more than ever, the need for volunteers has risen.