Local non-profit uses new campaign to help those impacted by COVID-19

Putting the Ozarksfirst

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Food Harvest is working hard on a new campaign to help people who are experiencing some hardships as a result of COVID-19.  

“We are trying to raise enough money to provide a million meals within the next 90 days,” said Bart Brown, president and CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “For that, that means about a quarter of a million dollars because for every dollar, we can provide about four meals here, at Ozarks Food Harvest.”

The food Ozarks Food Harvest sends out is to places like the MSU Care Clinic where many patients need food and a balanced diet to combat the disease.  

“We had some situations where our patients were struggling to get food,” said Jaime Gnau, with MSU Care Clinic. “I had a patient who said she lost her job. She had no idea how she was going to feed her kids. She’s like, ‘This has been such a lifesaver in just helping me feed my kids.'”

Gnau says having access to food is a baseline for a healthy life.  

“It just makes everything harder if you’re hungry,” said Ganu. “We have to work together and just building those connections is so important.”

The food bank has set up mobile food pantries to distribute food as well.  

Beverly Radford, a grandmother, was at one of those distributions at the Fairbanks in Springfield.  

“I’m a grandmother raising three grandkids,” said Radford. “Their mother died 12 years ago. It gets to be a struggle whenever you don’t have food stamps and you’re working. Trying to get back to work and then the pandemic happened so this really helps us out because I have a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old so they can eat and I have no food stamps.”

Brown says it’s all about helping out one another.

“This is a time where it’s absolutely necessary to ask for help,” said Brown. “Please don’t feel bad. And we want to help everyone that needs it.”

Ozark’s food harvest recently received a grant to hire 30 temporary workers that have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Because of this grant, the non-profit doesn’t need volunteers, but they do need donations.

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