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Ozarks Food Harvest announced today they’ve received $125,000 from The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program. OFH Executive Director Bart Brown says the money will flow directly to their member charities. And, for the third year in a row, they’ll use that money as a challenge grant opportunity for those members…
"So they can raise matching funds in their local communities, and all of those funds will go toward providing food in the communities where those funds are raised."
According to Brown, charities are invited to apply for matching challenge grants. He says the program has resulted in many good partnerships with member agencies and their donors…
"It's a win-win for everyone. It's great for the food bank, it's wonderful for our member agencies who get to double their money, but the folks that it's best for are the folks that need the help the most."
Brown says the $250,000 (the total money they hope to end up with) is the equivalent of 1.5 million meals for those in need in Southwest Missouri.
According to Brown, they’re being hit from all sides—the recession hit people hard, and now the drought is expected to result in increased food prices both this year and next…
"We're very concerned about the after effects of this drought because this is the second year in a row, and, you know, at Ozarks Food Harvest we purchase a lot of food in addition to accepting food donations from folks like Walmart, so it's going to effect our purchasing ability to provide more food."
He says, at the same time, demand for food will likely go up.
Ozarks Food Harvest serves 250 organizations in 28 counties in the Ozarks. Brown says they help an average of 25,000 people each month.