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March 2017

Member Agency Conference sneak peek


zarks Food Harvest’s Member Services department has been hard at work gearing up for the 2017 Member Agency conference. This year’s theme is Attitude of Gratitude and will focus on seeing situations through the eyes of others. Among this year’s conference speakers is Randy Bacon from 7 Billion Ones. Bacon is an award-winning local photographer whose work is often centered around humanitarian efforts. His recent project titled The Road I Call Home tells the stories of homeless individuals. “We love to show that each person is special and that they have a special story,” Bacon said in an interview with 417 Magazine. “Where we are downtown, we have gotten to meet and form relationships with many homeless. We’ve found that they are so often misjudged and inappropriately judged.” Another community member who will speak at the conference is Dan Prater, founder and director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication at Drury University, where he organizes nonprofit workshops and conferences, consults with local nonprofits to help them achieve their missions and writes on industry-related topics. Prater will talk about how to make plans for leadership transition to ensure that agencies stay on track with their mission and day-to-day activities throughout the



process. He will also discuss proper protocol for large staffing changes. After lunch, there will be break-out sessions. Attendees will receive the opportunity to attend a session on new ideas for pantries to increase efficiency, or a session on how to order from The Food Bank’s menu in the most cost-effective way. The conference will also allow for networking with other agencies and for a rapid-fire question and answer session with Scott Boggs, director of operations at Ozarks Food Harvest.

CSFP expands Regional meetings update Ideas for National Volunteer Week New agency locations

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. As a special close for the conference, there will be a chance for prizes and awards. “This conference is one of the biggest highlights of the year for us because we love seeing representatives from our wonderful agencies all in one place,” said Mary Zumwalt, director of member services at The Food Bank. “My hope is that our agency leaders and volunteers leave the conference feeling refreshed and inspired with many new ideas.”


OFH receives extra CSFP food


t’s not every day you get a call from the state asking if you can handle an extra 931 boxes of food for the CSFP, also known as the Senior Box program. But, that’s exactly what happened in January when OFH received the surprise call. Without hesitation, The Food Bank agreed

to manage the extra caseload. This meant seeking additional sites, increasing boxes at existing Senior Box locations, getting the warehouse prepared for additional product and securing volunteers to assemble boxes. Once the logistics were worked out, The Food Bank increased its reach for the program

in seven more counties, bringing the total to 23 of the 28 counties OFH serves. This is very exciting news for Missouri CSFP. A 45 percent increase in caseload for our state means we are a step closer toward meeting our goal of bringing the Senior Box program to all 28 counties in our service area. The Food Bank shares its caseload assignments with five other Missouri food banks. Herb, age 74, receives help through the Senior Box program. He said, “We’ve got to keep the roof over our heads, wood on the porch and food in our bellies. This helps a lot.” The Food Bank’s Senior Box program supplements the diets of low-income seniors with nutritious USDA food. Over 3,000 seniors, age 60 and older who live at or below 130 percent of the poverty level, receive monthly food boxes at OFH partner agencies like senior centers, churches and pantries. The food items provided act as a supplement of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of seniors in need. All of these USDA commodities are packaged into the boxes solely by OFH volunteers at the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief. As the administrator for southwest Missouri, The Food Bank would like to thank the following agencies for taking on the extra responsibility of distributing Senior Boxes: CAM-Branson and Forsyth, C-Street Connect at Crimson House (Springfield), CrosslinesSpringfield, SAMA Food Pantry (Stockton), Least of These (Nixa), Senior Age-West Plains, Ozark County Food Pantry (Gainesville), and L-Life (Lebanon).

New Agency Regional Meetings off to successful start Last fall, Ozarks Food Harvest began its first round of Agency Regional Meetings. These meetings provided agencies a chance to meet and collaborate in a smaller, casual setting. Member Services divided the OFH service area into four regions for the meetings; eastern, western, central and northern. Various topics were discussed, including

client choice options, various distribution models and community partnerships. No two meetings were alike. Agencies in attendance found these meetings to be of great benefit and are already looking forward to the next round of meetings. Member Services encourages all members to participate and take advantage of the additional resources available. More

information on the regional meetings will be available at the agency conference on April 10. Member Services is looking forward to seeing member agencies at the conference and hopes attendees leave inspired. For a preview of the conference, be sure to read the cover article. If you have any questions, please contact Member Services at 417-380-5007.

DID YOU KNOW? Agencies on delivery can also make an appointment at The Food Bank to pick-up food. In 2015, 27.5 percent of Missouri residents volunteered, ranking them 24th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. In fiscal year 2016, volunteers donated 30,600 hours to Ozarks Food Harvest.

TEFAP corner

Common misconceptions about TEFAP

TEFAP is a self-declaration program. Therefore, clients do not have to show proof of anything. However, clients do need to be informed that they are signing a federal document stating their total household income falls within the guidelines and they are a resident of the county in which they are receiving food assistance. If a client wants food other than TEFAP, then you can ask for further information, such as, proof of residency, household members and income. One suggestion is to ask clients if they want TEFAP first. If they do, then follow protocol and offer TEFAP food only. If they would like supplemental food, as well, then you can ask for the information your organization typically requires. If they don’t qualify for TEFAP during that process, agencies can deny them TEFAP. Clients may refuse any USDA/TEFAP product offered. Pantries shall not require a referral to apply for TEFAP/USDA foods.

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

Director Q & A

Michele Marsh


ichele Marsh has been the director of LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home for two years. Each work day is filled with variety for Marsh, and her passion for helping expecting mothers is evident. Q: Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started? A: I worked at Mercy Health System many years as a neonatal nurse, educator, and as the Director of Community Health and Access for Mercy Springfield Communities. I have spent most of my adult life in a healing ministry serving vulnerable individuals and those with complex needs. Although I never really anticipated running a maternity home for pregnant homeless women and their infants and children, it is almost a natural fit given my educational and experience history. I have always had a deep and abiding respect for our community non-profit partners, so the opportunity to continue to work with them while serving homeless individuals was inviting. When offered the position, I guess you could say that I just took a deep breath and said, “Yes�. Q: What is a typical day like for you? A: Each day is filled with health, educational, financial, and employment appointments and classes. We have case managers, a registered nurse, and a licensed professional counselor on-site that work daily with residents and our community partners assist with many needs. While this describes the residents when we meet them, our days are also filled with residents going to work and school, and the residents who graduate the program moving into safe affordable housing as they become self-sufficient. A day never passes without

moments of laugher, as well! Q: What part of your job do you personally find most satisfying and most challenging? A: There are different moments in the journey of each woman at LifeHouse that cause you to pause and reflect on the strength of each human being and what a powerful impact love has on all of us. I am in awe of how hard the women work to try and make a better life for themselves and their children. None of their lives have been easy. Our staff is incredible, so that is also a personal joy for me. The most challenging is when you meet someone who desperately needs change, but they are not ready to do what they need to do to change their circumstances. Q: What is your most memorable moment at LifeHouse? A: We have a great building on 11 beautiful acres, but it is over 50 years old. One day, the air conditioner, the dishwasher and the van all broke down at the same time and to top it off, one of the residents went into labor. Fortunately, every need was met rapidly and the baby was healthy!

National Volunteer Week next month April 23-29 marks a week dedicated to recognizing the many people who give generously of their time and talents to a variety of causes. Ozarks Food Harvest is making it a priority to show The Food Bank volunteers appreciation for their dedication, and encourages member agencies to do the same. In 1974 President Richard Nixon established National Volunteer Week. Each year since presidents have issued a proclamation in

honor of volunteers. Consider creating a written plan on how to honor volunteers who give their time. Whether it is baking treats for volunteers, taking the time to write a handwritten thank you letter or simply saying thank you in person, the appreciation shown does not have to be expensive. Still stumped on how to honor volunteers? Visit Pinterest for an unlimited amount of ideas to help spark creativity.


Agencies move locations


ot only is Ozarks Food Harvest planning on expanding, but several member agencies are celebrating expansions as well. One recently relocated agency is Harmony House. This shelter for survivors of domestic violence was previously located in a 100 year-old building on Cherry Street that was only able to shelter 110 women and children at a time. “We were dealing with plumbing issues,

no working elevator, heat and air issues, actually about every structural problem you can imagine,” said Esther Munch, director of development and marketing for Harmony House. “That facility was more than 100 years old. It saved and changed many lives but was no longer a place of hope and healing.” Harmony House moved into its new space in February. The shelter now has the capacity to house 160 women and children, making it the largest domestic violence shelter in

Good news at The Food Bank Food Bank launches capital campaign to double size of distribution center By the end of next year, Ozarks Food Harvest plans to double its distribution center to meet the growing need for food assistance across southwest Missouri. The Ending Hunger, Building Hope capital campaign will add a 56,000 square-foot warehouse addition to The Food Bank’s current O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief in north Springfield. The new distribution center has been funded through private gifts over the past year, and now Ozarks Food Harvest’s staff and board of directors is asking the public to help raise $900,000 to meet a challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation

of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and close out the campaign. Since moving into its facility in 2009, Ozarks Food Harvest increased its distribution from nearly six million to 15 million meals provided annually, however, the need for food assistance continues to outpace the record growth in meals served by The Food Bank and its network of 270 pantries, programs and feeding sites. “This campaign means more than growing our facility,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “With more space, we can provide millions of additional meals to those struggling in the Ozarks.”

Missouri. “The new building has majorly impacted the survivors we serve,” Much said. “They now have a nice place of healing that is not crumbling around them. There were many tears when residents moved over to the new location.” Two other agencies planning on moving to larger locations are Least of These and Jesus Was Homeless. Jesus Was Homeless is currently operating in a 3,500 square-foot facility and is planning on moving into their new 17,000 squarefoot building located at 310 Gretna Road in Branson later this year. “We outgrew our facility and the point came where we needed to expand in order to offer more resources to our community,” said co-founder and administrative director Amy Stallings. “This new facility will be about four times the size of our current facility.” Least of These’s current location is 10,000 square-feet, and the organization is currently fundraising to move into a 18,000 square-foot facility in order to distribute more food and expand the number of clients they serve.


LOOKING AHEAD... Hunger Challenge 6 reports due March 31 Annual agency conference on April 10 The Food Bank is closed on Good Friday, April 14.

Network News | March 2017  
Network News | March 2017