Page 1

January 2019


2018 Year in Review

Ozarks Food Harvest experienced an exciting year in 2018. We’re thankful that through it all, our wonderful network of 270 hunger relief partners worked hard to fight hunger alongside us. Over the course of the year, The Food Bank was able to provide 17 million meals to struggling children, families and seniors in the Ozarks. With the expansion of the distribution center, Ozarks Food Harvest’s operations team experienced significant growth. The Food Bank was able to purchase two new trucks and two new trailers to assist with its 53 delivery routes. In 2018, 3 new routes were added, and the operations team created several new positions to help navigate the growth. Ozarks Food Harvest trucks travelled a total of 165,000 miles across 28 counties. The expansion also allowed Ozarks Food Harvest to process an increased number of orders for its partners. More than 11,000 orders were processed for pantries, afterschool feeding sites, shelters and more. In 2018, we were thrilled to welcome ten new agencies to our hunger-fighting family. These Senior Age sites, schools, churches and residential facilities are working hard to support hunger relief in the Ozarks, and we are excited to continue to support them in their mission. Many staff members spent time visiting agencies, retail partners, the garden and a variety of other businesses across our service


O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief

area. Ozarks Food Harvest employees spent a total of 1,638 hours driving more than 65,000 miles. We would not be able to provide food to our partners without the help of our incredible volunteers. Throughout the year, more than 10,500 volunteer visits were logged at The Food Bank. Volunteers spent 31,433 hours sorting more than 3.2 million pounds of food to provide more than 2 million meals. We are so thankful for each and every individual who chose to sacrifice their time to give back to the community in 2018. It truly takes everyone coming together to provide meals for hungry children, families and seniors in the Ozarks. Our staff and our agencies help people like Brenda, who receives food to prepare meals for her family

Beware Taped Packages Regional meetings jump into action SNAP’s effect on the rural community OFH supports federal employees

Ozarks Food Harvest - The Food Bank

at a local food pantry. “Without places like this, I would be without food,” she shared. We’re looking forward to so many things in 2019: providing more meals, adding more delivery routes and partnering with more hunger relief organizations. The operations team already started the new year off with a record-breaking day with 17 deliveries, three Weekend Backpack Program routes, two Retail Pick-Ups and three corporate donation pickups on Jan. 3. Thank you for all that you and your volunteers do to help put meals on the table for thousands of people in southwest Missouri year after year. Together, we are Transforming Hunger into Hope.

any of these questions. For that reason, any package that has been taped shut and otherwise exposed (dry beans, rice, flour, sugar, etc.), should be thrown away. The only time a package is acceptable to tape and distribute is when the outside box of a package is taped, but the inside package is still intact. To keep and distribute any items, other than this type of product, would run the risk of giving clients potentially deadly bacteria. Also, as a reminder, repackaging food from bulk or large size packages to smaller packages for distribution is prohibited, due to safe food handling and storage requirements. Leave the process for repackaging to the approved food packaging facilities.

tape can only be used to repair outer packaging when an inner lining is intact.

BEWARE: Taped Packages


uring routine inspections and random trips to pantries and kitchens, one common theme keeps emerging; TAPED PRODUCT! This can be as innocent as accepting a donation that has been previously taped shut, or it could be a purposeful way to make items go further before distribution. Either way, taped or taping product is a practice that must be given a great deal of thought. The main reason? Cross-contamination.

When receiving a taped package, there is no way of knowing anything about the product before it was taped shut. What was it exposed to, for example: perhaps a rodent could have come in contact with the open product; maybe there was an army of bugs that trampled across the product; or, perhaps a utensil was used, like a pair of scissors or a knife that may unknowingly have contained harmful bacteria from raw meat, cheese or vegetables. There is simply no way to answer

Regional Meetings Jump into Action


n place of the next round of regional meetings, we are excited to announce that four pantries are inviting network members a chance to observe and/or volunteer during their distribution! Each agency, Least of These in Ozark, Monett Community Food Pantry, Bread of Life in Marshfield, and Community Outreach Ministries in Bolivar, offers a different distribution style, so this is your chance to see how other food pantries around the network


operate. There will be something to do for everyone at every level of physical capability. Everyone will have the chance to observe registration processes, food distribution, volunteer involvement, as well as engage with the clients on an individual basis. The schedule allows you to come and go anytime. If the day or time in your region does not fit your schedule, feel free to attend one that does. Also, you are welcome to attend more than one distribution!

Eastern – Feb. 8 - 11:00 am -1:00 pm Bread of Life, Marshfield 1061 State Hwy. A Marshfield Central – Feb. 25 - 8:00 am -1:00 pm Least of These, Ozark 1720 James River Rd. Ozark Western – Feb. 18 -12:00-2:00 pm Monett Community Food Pantry 1600 N. Central Monett Northern Feb. 21-10:00 am-1:00 pm Community Outreach Ministries, Bolivar 320 S. Market Ave. Bolivar

You can check to see who in your organization is food safety trained and when their training expires. Log on to your account as if you were going to place an order but instead of “order entry” select the “MY AGENCY” link in the upper right hand corner. An Agency Info tab will open. Click on the tab labeled “Contacts.” If any of the details listed there need updated, email memberservices@ozarksfoodharvest.org to make the changes!

TEFAP corner

Good News!

As we enter the new year, and reflect on the past, we want to take this time to thank everyone for their support of USDA during 2018; especially the last three months, with unexpected fresh milk allocations. We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding, but what a great “gift” for the families and individuals served! As we look to the future, remember that The Food Bank is always a phone call away. Please, reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, contact changes, or revisions to days and hours of distribution. Keeping each other informed helps insure a successful food program. Some simple program reminders: All communication pieces which mention USDA (formerly known as, commodities) should have the NonDiscrimination clause included. If “commodities” is mentioned/written in any form of communication, it must be changed to, USDA Please make sure you are using the correct income guidelines and distribution chart – Forms are updated every April. In the event of a review, make sure your FD-6 form is readily available. If you need a fresh copy, please let us know.

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

Director Q & A

Jamie Oberly Q: How long have you been Community Services Director at West Central Missouri Community Action Agency? A: I became the Community Services Director in Nov. 2015. Q: What is a typical day like for you? A: I love my job at West Central Missouri Community Action Agency! There is a saying that Community Action is not monotonous. That is a very true statement. As the Community Services Director, I have the privilege of working with my team, helping people and changing lives every single day. One day we might be helping people by making sure our food pantry is stocked and ready and the next day, we might be helping someone who is homeless find a home. We do many great things at WCMCAA for people and communities and never has there been two days alike, each are challenging and rewarding! Q: What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? A: Helping people and truly making a difference in people’s lives is the most satisfying. Recently, I facilitated a Step Up to Leadership Class. This is a 12-week course for low-income people. Topics include how to become a leader, conflict resolutions, stepping up and out, and public speaking. I have facilitated several of these classes throughout my career. People start the class for the stipend. Rarely do they talk, have an opinion or are interactive at the beginning of class. By the

end, at graduation, they can stand before a crowd, give a speech and are very proud of who they are. I am always honored and humbled by the words of the graduates. Most recently, at graduation, one for the graduates thanked me for helping him, when all I can say it is the most satisfying thing to me is when I get the chance to help and empower him. Q: What is your most memorable moment at WCMCAA? A: Following a speech at a local community event, a woman said “Wow your job is really cool!” Indeed it is, very cool! The second happened after a Reality Enrichment and Life Lesson (REALL) Simulation at a school, a teenage girl, who lived in poverty came up to me and said “you taught me something…I don’t have to live like this…I can be anything I want to be.” Indeed any of us can be anything we want to be.

SNAP’s effect on the rural community The rural community in southwest Missouri often struggles with food insecurity due to factors such as lack of available employment, reliable transportation and funds for food. That’s why the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the most vital tools in helping citizens get back on their feet as well as boosting the economy in the rural areas of Ozarks Food Harvest’s service area. According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 15 of the 28 counties that Ozarks Food Harvest serves are considered rural. These rural communities combined

have 274 SNAP licensed stores and received more than $56 million in SNAP benefits in 2017. That equates to more than $95 million in economic stimulus within just 15 counties. SNAP dollars not only help the food insecure population, but local grocery stores, the grocer’s employees and the producers that put food on the shelves of our stores. Without the additional stimulus received from SNAP benefits, many grocers in rural areas would be forced to cut back or close thereby creating the potential for unemployment, food deserts and a loss of income for America’s farmers in one fell swoop.

The Ozarks Food Harvest Agency Conference 2019 has been CANCELLED

lighten their loads and guarantee there is enough food for these struggling families. Dave, a father of two and employee at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, recently stopped by Ozarks Food Harvest to pick up food and cleaning supplies. “It’s really nice of Ozarks Food Harvest to offer this. Once I start getting paid again, we want to start giving back. My kids want to volunteer, and when I have time off I want to volunteer, too,” he shared. Ozarks Food Harvest is thankful for your continued support in the fight against hunger. Navigating this challenging time would truly be impossible without wonderful network partners! To learn more about how we are supporting families, contact Mary Zumwalt at 417-865-3411, ext. 111. Ozarks Food Harvest Federal Employee Pantry

OFH supports federal employees


Throughout the ongoing government shutdown situation, Ozarks Food Harvest is maximizing its efforts to ensure that affected federal employees—and the other 31,000 people served by The Food Bank and its network each week—continue to get the food they need to put a meal on the table at the end of the day. For the past several weeks, Ozarks Food Harvest has had a food pantry set up specifically for these federal employees. The pantry, which is located inside Ozarks Food Harvest’s warehouse, offers nonperishable foods, produce and frozen items. Families are invited to take as much as they need.

Those seeking assistance must present a valid federal ID. We are committed to distributing food to affected federal employees for as long as is necessary. These families are suddenly without a paycheck by no fault on their own, and we want to give them one less thing to worry about by providing them with as much food as they need. Our pantries and other hunger relief partners are currently doing as much as they can to provide for children, families and seniors across our 28-county service area— and we simply cannot ask them to distribute more. Our temporary pantry allows us to help

Good news at The Food Bank McDonald’s Coffee for a Cause

Smart Chicken annual donation

McDonald’s restaurants across the Ozarks generously donated 25 cents from each cup of McCafe Coffee purchased Nov. 10-16 to Ozarks Food Harvest. Every cup of coffee purchased helped provide one meal for families in need. Participating stores included Battlefield; Bolivar; Marshfield; Mount Vernon; Nixa; Ozark; Republic; Rogersville; all 15 stores in Springfield; Strafford; and Willard. From 2008 to 2017, McDonald’s of the Ozarks hosted the fundraiser Cans for Coffee which collected more than 215,000 meals for food insecure individuals in the Ozarks. The Food Bank is so very thankful for the McDonald’s owner/operators who made this partnership possible once again this year.

Just in time for the holidays, Ozarks Food Harvest received a donation of 8,074 pounds of Smart Chicken thanks to Tecumseh Farms. This is the 16th year for the donation, which allows our members to provide protein-rich chicken to their customers. Smart Chicken’s Feed the Hungry campaign donates one pound of poultry for every 10 pounds of product purchased in November at southwest Missouri grocers including Country Mart, Cash Saver, Food 4 Less, Harter House, Murfins, Price Cutter, and Woods Supermarket. Ozarks Food Harvest sincerely thanks Smart Chicken for this impactful gift—and for donating more than 125,000 pounds of chicken since 2004!

Federal Employee and family at OFH Pantry

LOOKING AHEAD... Regional Meetings - Feb. 8 , Feb. 18, Feb. 21, Feb. 25. See details in this issue Food Safety Class - Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1:00 - 3:00 pm Civil Rights Training due by the end of February.

Profile for Ozarks Food Harvest

Network News | January 2019  

Network News | January 2019