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Local Businesses Attempt to Collect 25,000 Meals for Ozarks Food Harvest

Ozarks Food Harvest
Ozarks Food Harvest website

Ozarks Food Harvest is teaming up with local businesses to help spread some holiday cheer this season with “25,000 Meals For Hope.” Like the name suggests, area businesses using the Towny app will attempt to collect that many meals for OFH.

The campaign is a new addition to the organization’s other annual holiday food drives such as Check Out Hunger.  

“This is a unique and fun thing we’re doing with Towny this year and we hope it brings in a lot of meals,” said Christine Temple, communication and public relations coordinator for Ozarks Food Harvest.

Donating meals is simple for customers. For example, a business might offer a deal through the Towny app where the business will donate $1 to OFH when a customer buys a soft drink. $1 equals four meals.

Temple said even though people tend to think about those in need around the holidays, there remains an issue of awareness. She says it’s not just a lack of understanding about how many people go hungry.

“But then (it’s) also understanding it’s not a problem that is too big for us to address,” Temple said. “Hunger affects 1-in-5 kids and 1-in-7 adults but Ozarks Food Harvest and all of the partners that we have that are delivering food across the Ozarks are really hoping to change that.”

Temple said the campaign is set to start on Giving Tuesday, a day similar to other days following the Thanksgiving holiday such as Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday.

The main goal of the Towny app is to help small businesses in towns. It allows participating businesses to offer deals and discounts to their customers while doubling as a rewards program. 

Mary Guiccione, a client business strategist for Towny and the owner of Cellar + Plate in Springfield, said the drive matches perfectly with Towny’s goals.

“If we’re gonna push small businesses and commerce to thrive then we really need to make sure those people and those towns are fed as well,” Guccione said.

She added the campaign gives consumers in Springfield more chances to help their community.

“It’s a really easy way to kill two birds with one stone,” Guccione said. “Number one, shop local and make it stronger, but then also feed those who cannot feed themselves.”

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