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Ozarks Food Harvest is Recipient of Large Food Donation

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http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/ozarks-food-harvest-recipient-large-food-donation_49088.mp3

Sound: forklift

It didn’t take long for an experienced forklift operator to unload the many boxes of chicken from a tractor trailer.  Denise Gibson, development director for Ozarks Food Harvest, says the food translates into 31,000 meals for people in the Ozarks…

"Protein is something that we don't get donated on a regular basis so this is really a treasured item for us, and so, as soon as we get this on our menu for our agency partners, this product will be out of here within the next week or so it goes fast because as soon as people find out they're gonna be thrilled to have this opportunity, she said."

Tyson Foods made the donation in support of McDonald’s Cans for Coffee Food Drive.  Anyone who donates a nonperishable food item for the food bank through November 18thcan get a free McCafe drink.  The drive resulted in more than 38,000 pounds of food last year for Ozarks Food Harvest, and turned out to be the largest non-emergency food drive the food bank had ever had.  Gibson hopes it will net even more food this year to serve a growing number of people who need help…

"I hate to say it but we have more people this year than we did last year, and it seems like that's a broken record.  It seems like we say that every year, but I'm afraid that's kind of a fact of life right now, she said."

Gena Johnson-Bumgarner is regional sales manager for Tyson Foods.  She hopes the company’s donation will have a wide-reaching impact…

"I just hope it gives them a hot meal for the week as well as provides some--at least provides some additional information for the community to continue to help those that are in need, so I just hope it creates that awareness."

According to Gibson, donations of protein are greatly needed.  She, too, hopes the donation of chicken will help people see that the need exists.

Ozarks Food Harvest feeds about 20,000 people each week through its agency partners—one in four is a child.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.