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Crosslines accepts 10 millionth meal from Ozarks Food Harvest

A celebration of Ozarks Food Harvest's 10 millionth meal donation to Crosslines on May 14, 2024.
Michele Skalicky
A celebration of Ozarks Food Harvest's 10 millionth meal donation to Crosslines on May 14, 2024.

The two nonprofits have been partners for more than three decades.

Ozarks Food Harvest and the Crosslines Food Pantry celebrated a milestone Tuesday.

Crosslines, a program of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, accepted its 10 millionth meal from OFH and marked the 33rd anniversary of their partnership.

"This is kind of the culmination of the founder of Council of Churches of the Ozarks Dorsey Levell's vision," said Bart Brown, executive director of Ozarks Food Harvest. He envisioned a food bank like Ozarks Food Harvest that would store and distribute food to a variety of different charities across the Ozarks."

Today that food bank is an independent organization, part of Feeding America – the national network of food banks – and serves 270 faith-based and community charities in the region. In fact, Brown said OFH supplies about 70% of the food that Crosslines distributes.

While 10 million meals might sound like a lot, Brown said it’s not when you consider the needs of today.

Crosslines currently serves more than 1700 families each month at its pantry on E. Division.

Wes Buchholz, vice-president of programs for Council of Churches, said they’ve seen a 41% increase in the number of people coming to Crosslines for food since the height of the pandemic when demand soared.

"One in four of all the households we've served over our fiscal year are new to requesting our services or haven't done so in many years," he said.

It’s crucial that the community step up and help, he said, so they can continue to meet the increased demand for food. Find out how to help by going to ccozarks.org or by calling 417-862-3586.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.