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May 2019

2019 Feeding America Audit


zarks Food Harvest’s staff spent the better part of April preparing for the Feeding America Audit. Every three to four years, a representative from Feeding America visits The Food Bank to complete a comprehensive audit. It allows us to review our contact with Feeding America and helps us learn how we can improve our processes. From April 23-25, the auditor spent her time inspecting our building, talking with department directors and taking an in-depth look into how we serve the community. Each department prepared for the audit by pulling reports, gathering paperwork, discussing best practices and organizing materials. For the administration department’s audit, Administration Director Cindy Snow organized financial and human resource information. Cindy spoke with the auditor about department budgets, how we receive donations, payroll and so much more. The development and communication team prepared for the audit by organizing marketing materials and pulling reports about fundraising events. Denise Gibson, director of development and communication, spent her time with the auditor discussing fundraising strategies and communication tactics. Gordon Day, director of community resources, gave the auditor a comprehensive look at the volunteer, retail, garden and purchased food programs. His reports documented the growth of the programs


ozarks food harvest o’reilly Center for Hunger Relief

over the past few years, and he presented a plan for future action. Gordon also brought the auditor to the Ozarks Food Harvest garden. For the member services department, the audit focused on agency and program compliance. Member Services Director Mary Zumwalt and her team analyzed each agency file to check for proper paperwork and documentation. They went through a similar process for all of our programs. The auditor then made a random selection of agency and program files to review for proper documentation. The operations department spent a significant amount of time preparing for the audit. The auditor thoroughly inspected the entire Ozarks Food Harvest warehouse from

Purpose of Agency Monitoring Shared Maintenance Fee Director Spotlight: Mike Parson Agency Spotlight: Crosslines Lebanon

top to bottom. She checked everything from sanitation processes to temperature logs. She also reviewed Ozarks Food Harvest’s inventory process with Scott Boggs, director of operations. Overall, the auditor was very pleased with Ozarks Food Harvest! She was impressed with our facility and enjoyed learning about how each department helps fight hunger in the Ozarks. The process allowed us to learn about how we are excelling and gave us ideas for improvement. We’re grateful to work with Feeding America and for audits that help us learn more about how we can help provide even more meals in the Ozarks.

The Purpose of Agency Monitoring


eeding America’s assurances to its donors that food bank partners are certified and are visited regularly by food bank staff has contributed to its growth and credibility as a network. When a food bank staff member visits an agency, it demonstrates accountability, and accountability is what national manufacturers and grocers ask for in return for their contributions of food and non-food essentials.

minimum once every year or year and a half, depending on the agency’s type of food program. Visits are conducted unannounced and are not intended to catch an agency doing something wrong—the visit’s main purpose is to ensure partner agencies are in compliance with food bank rules and guidelines and to satisfy The Food Bank’s contractual responsibilities to Feeding America. Visits also ensure agencies are distributing food according to IRS 170e3 guidelines.

Monitoring visits also allow The Food Bank to fully understand what a typical day at the agency looks like. It gives The Food Bank an opportunity to see firsthand how an agency’s food program operates and allows us to get to know our agencies on a more personal level. Agency monitoring is essential to making sure the food we provide is properly handled from the time we receive the donation to the time the food reaches our neighbors in need.

As a result, each member is monitored at

What do we mean by “Shared Maintenance Fee?”


rganizations that partner with Ozarks Food Harvest are not required to pay a membership fee, but there is a small cost involved with partnership. The Food Bank operates a “shared maintenance” handling fee system as a partial cost recovery for certain grocery items. This shared maintenance fee of $0.12 per pound for certain food items is not related to the cost of the food itself, but instead helps defray the cost of acquiring the products, paying for truck fuel and maintenance, etc. For example, a case of 8-32 oz. bags of cereal with a retail value of $27.92 can be


obtained for just $2.16. Shared maintenance fees are charged to partners for specific items including items like canned food, meat and dry goods. While the savings experienced by members through the shared maintenance program is dramatic, it bears repeating that millions of pounds of food such as fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, breads, and government food is always 100 percent free to partner feeding programs. And hungry families never, ever pay a single penny for the food they receive.

Misconceptions about our shared maintenance fee and distribution processes could have a negative effect on Ozarks Food Harvest and its members as we seek funds, volunteers, and other support from our communities, so we greatly appreciate your help in dispelling any misunderstandings. When you communicate to others about how you share the cost of our partnership, we ask that you not explain it by saying that you “pay for” or “buy” the food from Ozarks Food Harvest, as this distorts the true reason for the shared maintenance fee.

You can access your OFH online account to learn who, in your organization, has completed a food safety class and when their certification expires. Click on “My Agency” [upper right hand corner], then click on “Contacts”.

TEFAP corner Friendly reminders for agencies serving USDA food: Please make sure the below guidelines are being followed: •

FD-6 Food Bank /Eligible Recipient Agency Agreement is on file

2019 income guidelines are utilized

Eligibility columns are completed at the time of intake

Distribution chart (FD-19D) is completed and visible to recipients

USDA food is stored separately from non-USDA food and is labeled for easy identification

Food is distributed within a six month period (two months is a best practice)

A sign is posted providing information for clients to access food in the event of an emergency outside regularly scheduled hours of operation.

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

Mike Parson

Vernon County Senior Center Q: How long have you been Site Director at the Vernon County Senior Center? A: I have been Center Coordinator at the Neal (Senior) Center for four years. Q: What led you to working there? A: After I retired from Nursing Home Administration in the fall of 2014, I decided to return to work, part time with seniors, but in a less stressful environment. I came to work with Care Connection in April, 2015 and love my job. Q: What part of the job do you personally find most satisfying? A: The most satisfying part of my job is helping to feed seniors in need. I love distributing senior boxes through Ozark Food Harvest, delivering Home Delivered Meals and seeing seniors come into our center, who otherwise might not have a hot meal that day. Q: Most challenging? A: The most challenging part of my job is fundraising enough money to provide all of the services that we provide for seniors. Q: What is your most memorable moment at the center? A: One of our most successful fundraisers is when I interview home-delivered-meal recipients for our year-end letter and my most memorable moment is when I interviewed my favorite customer, who just turned 103 yrs-old and still lives alone, at home.

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time? A: I like working in my yard at home, going to our camp site near Truman Lake and watching St Louis Cardinal baseball. And just for fun: When I was 13 to 15 yrs-old, I traveled with my brother-in-law, who was a stage magician and my sister. I was an assistant, on stage and we traveled throughout the midwest, east coast and spent seven weeks in Puerto Rico. At that time, the popular movie genre were monster shows from Frankenstein to Werewolf. Our stage show was right after one of those movies. My brother-in-law looked like Dracula. We would dress like the aforementioned monsters and act like we were going into the audience, then we would turn out all of the lights and listen to the audience go crazy. As a teenager, I found getting a job difficult when all I had on my resume was magician’s assistant and werewolf.

Who Uses SNAP?


ften, the perception of the SNAP program can be based off of media reports, politicians or even our friends instead of data of actual participants. So, to get a more accurate view, let’s take a closer look at the SNAP program as it operates in Missouri. According to the Department of Social Services, more than 350,000 families utilized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Missouri last year to help with their food budget. They received on average $264 per month and helped bring nearly $1 billion into the state of Missouri

economy. But, who is the average SNAP client? It turns out, the average client may not be who you expect. According to the Department of Social Services annual report, the average SNAP client is female, white, around 42 years old and has a high school education. The average family unit is a singleparent household with one to two children in the home. As we look at this data, we can get a more accurate picture of the families we’re trying to help rather than just a perception.

The Ozarks Food Harvest Agency Conference 2019 has been CANCELLED

Agency Spotlight: Crosslines Lebanon

Bank supplies the pantry with thousands of pounds of USDA commodities to help feed hungry families. Viola knows that Crosslines is changing lives in southwest Missouri. “We are making a big difference in families’ lives. Not only do we help keep their children in clothes, we help take the worry away when they think they will not have anything to eat that night,” she expressed. Viola and her team of volunteers serve with kindness and humility to fight hunger and poverty every day in Laclede County. And while they love to imagine a hunger-free community, they also see things getting more difficult for struggling families. “Government cuts, level pay and higher cost of living make it very hard to make ends meet. I think Crosslines will be here to help for many more years. We have a caring community,” she said.

Crosslines Lebanon

Crosslines Provides for Low-Income Families in Laclede County


or the past 38 years, Crosslines in Lebanon has helped put meals on the table for thousands of people in Laclede County. The food pantry was established in 1981 by a group of ministers and concerned citizens who wanted to serve low-income families in the area. The pantry is open several days a week, and Crosslines also offers clothing, household goods and emergency financial support to clients. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Laclede County by providing supplemental and emergency assistance. “The job is very heartwarming…I’m usually

the one to see the smiles and tears of joy,” Viola Blankenship, executive director at Crosslines, shared. “And I get to hear when the children are there and say, ‘Look, Mom, there are cookies!’”

Ozarks Food Harvest is grateful for Crosslines’ service in Lebanon and how it continues to serve children, families and seniors that need a little extra help when difficult seasons arise.

With only one paid employee, Crosslines relies on volunteers to keep things organized and hand out food. “Volunteers are the backbone of Crosslines, and they come from all walks of life. They all really seem happy to be helping others. We are like one big family,” Viola said. Crosslines began partnering with Ozarks Food Harvest in 1991. Each week, The Food

Good news at The Food Bank Stamp Out Hunger

OFH Garden Open House

On May 11, people across the Ozarks placed bags of nonperishable food items near their mailboxes. Throughout the day, local letter carriers collected the food, which was then sorted and delivered to local Ozarks Food Harvest member pantries. More than 212,000 pounds were collected to help provide 176,600 meals in the community. Stamp Out Hunger is the largest singleday food drive in America, and over the past 27 years, the campaign has collected more than one billion pounds of food nationwide. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s drive!

Last month, Ozarks Food Harvest hosted its third annual Garden Open House at the Ozarks Food Harvest Garden in Rogersville. Donors, volunteers and staff members enjoyed a lovely day of volunteering, treats and other activities. Alexa Poindexter, Full Circle Gardens coordinator and Rob Medlen, Full Circle Gardens assistant, answered questions and gave tours. The Food Bank’s Board of Directors also came out to the garden for its monthly meeting. Through the Full Circle Gardens program, volunteers help harvest more than 33,000 pounds per year at the OFH Garden and at local farms. We are so grateful for our wonderful garden supporters and for everyone who was able to stop by.

LOOKING AHEAD... Pickups closed for Inventory June 26, 27, 28 Food Safety Classes- Wednesday, June 26, and July 24 both are 1-3 p.m. Food Bank Closed July 4, 2019 Independence Day

Profile for Ozarks Food Harvest

Network News | May 2019  

Network News | May 2019