Gifted Stove Means Continuous Food Service, Education at After-School Site

Aug 26, 2015

Members of the Springfield-Branson Chefs' Association next to the commercial-grade stove donated to the Springfield Community Center. From Left: James Braddock, Kyle Houston, Marty Lowry, Rick Hoenshell, Raymon Stopczynski (Front), Jason Pooker (back), Aaron Gregory.
Credit Ozarks Food Harvest

A rewarding partnership lasting close to ten years has now resulted in an equally rewarding gift. The Springfield Community Center recently received a donation of a commercial-grade stove from the Springfield-Branson Chefs’ Association.

The center’s previous stove was aging, had become difficult to operate and could have possibly been a safety hazard. That’s according to Denise Gibson with Ozarks Food Harvest, whose member agencies includes the Springfield Community Center.  

Gibson explained, “The chefs got together as a group and decided that they as an organization wanted to collect money to buy a new stove for the Springfield community center so that they could continue the program and do it within safety and they thought it would be a wonderful way to give back to the community.”

The new stove now will allow for the chefs and the children to benefit from the food program without the hassle of a worrisome stove.

Springfield Community Center is one of several OFH-sponsored after-school sites serving children who are at risk of going hungry. The center also provides educational experiences.

The chefs’ association originally collaborated with the center to teach the students about food variety, nutrition and preparation.

In addition, students learn about new types of foods and preparation from a variety of cultures. The chefs come in and prepare the children dishes like sushi and cashew chicken. 

“It has really been a great program for the kids because these children don’t have a lot of opportunities to go out to restaurants and eat, it was a great way for them to see how a professional person would prepare food and it would give them the chance to try and sample different types of food,” Gibson said.  

To learn more about after-school program sites through Ozarks Food Harvest, visit the organization's website