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July 2016

Choice enhances pantry visit for clients


rocery shopping can be a time consuming hassle that people gripe about having to do. This modern convenience is often taken for granted. But what if you walked into the grocery store and were handed a bag of food the store thought your family should be eating, rather than getting to select the food that best suits your needs? Would you feel grateful and empowered, or would you feel disrespected and humiliated? Some clients may face this scenario each time they visit their local pantry. Client choice models of food distribution are proven to improve morale among staff and volunteers, as well as minimize food waste by clients. It can even help reduce the cost of running your pantry. Did you know that over one third of Ozarks Food Harvest’s member pantries are currently operating as client choice? When using the model to let clients choose their own food, some agencies use a closet-sized space, while others use warehouses big enough for clients to push shopping carts through. Giving your clients a choice can be as simple as handing them a list of available pantry items for them to select during the check-in process. Bob Ham, pantry manager at Salvation Army-Community Outreach Ministries in Bolivar, shared reasons for making the switch to become a client-choice pantry. “We think it just makes the process fair for the clients,” Ham said. “We want to be more



client-minded and this is the perfect way to do that.” The pantry began the client choice method on July 1. Staff and volunteers worked hard to get the space organized for clients to shop the shelves. The motivation to convert pantries to client choice is necessitated by the growing number of families with dietary and allergy restrictions. Many pantries have learned that serving clients should no longer be a one size fits all process. For some, a jar of peanut butter and a bag of flour might be well received, while another family might not be

able to eat those items. While the idea to become client choice might be an easy decision to make, Ozarks Food Harvest knows that the majority of obstacles are found in the preliminary stages of planning. The Member Services Department at OFH is working to provide as much information about client-choice distributions as possible through the use of best practices that are currently being used by other agencies. To receive more information, or to see client choice pantry in action, contact Member Services today.

Community pays for Feeding Inc. truck Agency Director Spotlight: Meet Rhonda Gorham Primarius Web Window FAQ OFH earns perfect Charity Navigator score


Community pays for truck


eeding Inc., an Ozarks Food Harvest agency in Carthage, picks up food from several places in the community to distribute each week. With the support of generous donors, Feeding Inc. was able to purchase a box truck that now allows large loads of food to be distributed to over 550 families in need. In order to pay for the truck, the agency asked local people and businesses for help. One family made a contribution of $5,000, and another family donated $500 toward the truck. Other donations from area businesses,

including a $600 from Archer Daniels Midland Company, were given when the need was announced. “This donation from Archer Daniels Midland Company has helped us reduce the [debt] on our truck,” Regina Shank, director of Feeding Inc. said. “Previously we were using a truck and trailer to pick up food. This was difficult as the food bounced around and was in an open trailer. With the box truck, we are able to keep the food covered and secured inside the truck.” The donation was given through ADM

Cares, a social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. The program comprises of three distinct focus areas: supporting the responsible development of agriculture, improving the quality of life in ADM communities and fostering employee giving and volunteer activities. Feeding Inc. is thankful to Archer Daniels Midland Company for allowing it to provide more food to the community in Jasper County. As a result of the press coverage of the donations in the local newspaper, Feeding Inc. received a phone call from a couple who read about the need and wanted to pay off the remainder of what was due on the box truck. Feeding Inc. said all the donations that allowed them to purchase a box truck free and clear has been a blessing to the organization and the people in southwest Missouri it serves.


Food sorting exercise improves agency efficiency Having trouble with volunteers misinterpreting rules for food sorting? Ozarks Food Harvest is now providing a service to help untangle differing opinions in food sorting and food safety. A breakout session at the 2016 Agency Conference highlighted some common questions brought up by agencies about how to safely sort through food donations. The

session, Accepting Food Donations Safely, had an overwhelming response, so OFH’s Member Services Department began testing a pilot project with area agencies on a food sorting exercise which was demonstrated onsite for pantry volunteers and staff. The feedback from this pilot project has been positive from both agency leaders, as well as from pantry volunteers.

It provides agencies a way to get all their volunteers and staff on the same page in regards to food safety in a fun and comprehensive way. If you’re interested in more information or scheduling an appointment for this food sorting exercise at your agency, please contact Casey Gunn, OFH’s retail compliance specialist, at (417) 865-3411 ext. 140.

DID YOU KNOW? There are 45 senior centers in the OFH network and together they provided a total of 1,150,627 meals in 2015. Thanks to our members, OFH distributed 16.68 million pounds of food to 260,000 people in 28 Ozarks counties in fiscal year 2016. If everyone who is eligible for food stamps applied, it would nearly cover the food insecurity gap.

TEFAP corner

State Findings The Food Bank is responsible for TEFAP oversight and training of key staff at distribution sites by monitoring activities to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. OFH site reviews assist agencies in receiving a perfect review in the event of an audit. Many recent state reviews findings could have been avoided. Please review the following list of recent state findings. Signage: Please ensure a prominent sign is posted stating your site is a food pantry, the hours of distribution and contact information for clients to access food in the event of an emergency outside scheduled hours. A window decal was provided in each TEFAP agency’s folder at the April conference. Contact OFH if you need one. FD-6 Agreement: Agencies should have a copy of the FD-6 form (Food Bank/ Eligible Recipient Agency Agreement) at the distribution site for reference. If there is a change in director, agency name or address, a new form must be signed. Distribution Rate Chart (FD-19D): Chart must be displayed for recipients showing the pantry’s rates of distribution for TEFAP food and household size.

CONTACT US Ozarks Food Harvest Member Services 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. Springfield, Mo., 65803 memberservices@ (417) 380-5007

Director Q & A

Rhonda Gorham


honda Gorham, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, has dedicated her career to working in children’s programs. Gorham has worked at the Boys and Girls Club for nine years, and she has found she loves to help improve the lives of children. Q: What has been your biggest challenge? A: Showing our community that we are not a glorified daycare. Showing them we are so much more. We provide educational programs that involve STEM and focus on heath and wellness, [as well as] character and leadership development skills. We feed children a hot healthy meal every day and make sure they get opportunities to excel. Q: What is the hardest part of your job? A: As a not-for-profit we all wear many hats. I think keeping organized with so many irons in the fire would be the toughest thing for me. Although I love going in lots of directions and the thrill of working on lots of projects at once, when I am not organized I get a little crazy and lost in sticky notes. Q: What is the best part of your job? A: Knowing that we are making a difference in our community and our kids’s lives.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time? A: I coach and run a HOA club volleyball program. I also love to play golf, scrapbook, and relax with friend and family. Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself? A: I love what I do and I love the team I work with everyday. It is so much fun building and developing programs that help our community. It makes coming to work not a chore, but fun!

Primarius Web Window FAQ New ordering system is off to a good start It’s been a little over six weeks since Ozarks Food Harvest introduced the new online ordering system and it is off to a great start. The following is an excerpt from a list of the most frequently asked questions and issues observed. For a complete copy of the list, please contact Member Services. I am confused by Agency Reference and Username. The agency reference and username are exactly the same. It is your OFH agency number which begins with either a “P”, “B” or “C” followed by three numbers (for example, P009). Refer to page three of user guide. Why is my password not working? The password you use for PWW is the same one you used when submitting your POL

order. Please remember that you must use uppercase letters. If you do not know or remember your password, please request your password by emailing Member Services. Passwords will not be given over the phone. Refer to page three of user guide. Why can I no longer schedule my pick-up appointments four weeks out? Since you now have the convenience of scheduling your own appointments, the system does not have the capability to allow reserving appointments four weeks out. Where do I add my assorted items? Assorted boxes can be added or requested on the contact information page in the comment box below the email address box. The box is smaller than before, but it does allow more information than it appears. Refer to page seven of user guide.

program at the city pool and park. At the end of last summer the library contacted Ash Grove Assembly’s pastor to establish a partnership. The result was a combination of the library’s programs and the church’s programs. The kids show up at the park on Tuesdays where they get to participate in fun and educational programs from the library. Then lunch is served immediately following.

“By offering the opportunity to see a free show and have a free meal, I think we are meeting a real need in our community.” -Kim Millikin, Ash Grove Assembly’s co-director


Summer fun, food for kids


his summer, Ozarks Food Harvest is sponsoring 14 Summer Food sites in nine counties. Many of these sites offer kids opportunities they might not otherwise get to experience. Some of the activities the sites plan include gardening, swimming, weekly matinées, Springfield Cardinals and Arkansas Traveler’s baseball games, laser tag, craft camps, rock wall climbing, bowling, roller skating, and

trips to Silver Dollar City, Bennett Springs Fish Hatchery and Grandma’s Candy Kitchen for candy-making tutorials. One new activity this summer comes from Ash Grove Assembly. The summer feeding site has a new partnership with the Ash Grove Branch Library. In previous years the library hosted its summer reading program at the library and Ash Grove Assembly hosted its summer food

Good news at The Food Bank Invest An Acre impact

OFH earns perfect score

Since April, eight Ozarks Food Harvest agencies have raised $10,500 for the dollarfor-dollar match offered by the Invest An Acre program. This results in agency account credits of $21,000 to acquire food from The Food Bank as needed with no expiration date. Agencies are encouraged to take advantage of Invest An Acre to double their donor’s contributions. The deadline for donations to be included in the September fund distribution is July 15 and the Dec. distribution deadline is Oct. 14. To learn how your agency can benefit from this easy matching program please contact Jennifer Sickinger at (417) 865-3411 or email

Ozarks Food Harvest earned a 100 percent rating from Charity Navigator, the leading evaluator of nonprofits in the nation. The Food Bank was one of only 49 among the more than 8,000 nonprofits evaluated across the country, and the only charity in Missouri, to receive this honor. “Earning a perfect 100 percent score from Charity Navigator is a testament to the trust we have in this community,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “This rating gives current and future donors greater confidence that every $1 donated to The Food Bank is making a tangible impact on the life of someone who is hungry.” Of the 49 charities that earned a perfect score, eight are Feeding America food banks.

The library hosts different acts each week to entertain the kids and encourage a summer full of reading. The acts include magicians and musical comedy acts; a few of the acts are funded by the Missouri Arts Council. “I think the goal the library had for this partnership was much the same as ours and that was just to reach as many kids as we could,” said Ash Grove Assembly’s co-director Kim Millikin. “By offering the opportunity to see a free show and have a free meal, I think we are meeting a real need in our community. This has been an awesome way for us to be able to reach some of our local kiddos that we might not otherwise see.”

LOOKING AHEAD... Hunger Action Month begins Sept. 1 The Food Bank will be closed Sept. 5 Wear orange for hunger awareness on Sept. 8 Food safety classes are on Sept. 16

Network News | July 2016  
Network News | July 2016