Ozarks Food Harvest Announces it will Contribute an Additional $325,000 to Springfield Public
The Ozarks Food Harvest has announced it will increase its financial support toward the Springfield Public Schools next fiscal year. As KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports, the funding will help nourish roughly 4,000 families in Springfield.
“Feed, Strengthen, Lead.” That’s the Ozarks Food Harvest’s three year strategic plan, designed to meet the increasing need for hunger relief services throughout the Ozarks. Bart Brown is the CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest, and he says the funding toward Springfield Public Schools next fiscal year will amount to $450,000, a jump from the $125,000 dollars pledged this fiscal year. The money will help support Ozarks Food Harvest’s Weekend Backpack Program, as well as provide the schools with Mobile Food Pantries. In addition, the money will fund the SNAP Outreach Assistance program, formerly known as food stamps, which will help low income families buy groceries.
The funding will also help establish School Food Pantries within Springfield Public Schools. One currently exists at Hillcrest High School, with a second school currently being researched.
Bart Brown says the funding for these programs comes from a combination of private and public sources. The $325,000 expansion comes from a federal program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF. Those federal dollars support all six food banks in Missouri, and help programs like those within Ozarks Food Harvest to help fight child hunger.
“It’s a great example of public and private funding working together toward tangible results. The other thing is, it’s a great example of the kinds of funds that would be cut if Congress decides to reduce federal food program, or federal nutritional program money through the USDA,” Brown said.
Brown says Ozarks Food Harvest wanted to take advantage of this funding opportunity while they still could.
For more information on Ozarks Food Harvest’s partnership with the Springfield Public Schools, visit our website, ksmu.org.
Fore KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.