Network News | October 2019

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NETWORK NEWS An internal newsletter for Ozarks Food Harvest member agencies

IN THIS ISSUE The Upcoming Holiday Season

Reminders about what’s ahead on pg. 2

Fall Regional Meetings Focus on Gardening

Learn how fresh, local produce makes an impact in the Ozarks on pg. 3

Director Spotlight: Terri Wrenfrow

Learn about Terri and her work at Oregon County Food Pantry on pg. 4

Agency Spotlight: Central Crossing Senior Center

See how they’re making a difference in Shell Knob on pg. 4

October 2019


OCT. 2019

Properly preparing for the holiday season will make an impact for your clients.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAY AND COLD WEATHER SEASON It’s that time of year! Once again, The Food Bank is preparing for the holidays, and we want to share a few reminders. It’s time to start thinking about your organization’s holiday needs and holiday menu. If your agency is planning on providing holiday gift baskets or meals, please consider sourcing your products from Ozarks Food Harvest. Like last year, you will order your items online; No “PREORDER” form is required. Items have been ordered and are currently on the menu. If you don’t find an item you need, please let Member Services know as soon as possible, and we will try to obtain the item for you. Since we cannot guarantee availability or the price of goods we encourage everyone to order as early as possible. The Food Bank will be closed the following dates: Thursday, November 28; Friday, November 29; Tuesday, December 24; Wednesday, December 25; and Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Regarding route changes: Please make sure you check your email for the changes in delivery affected by the holiday closings. And, please notify member services immediately if your organization will not be open during your regular scheduled delivery. If you have any changes in your distribution schedule or hours during the holidays, please let us know. The Food Bank continues to conduct onsite reviews during this time and does not want to arrive only to discover that the agency is closed due to the holidays. Due to the amount of agencies on delivery, The Food Bank no longer follows any school cancellation policy. We will make every attempt to run routes during inclement weather. However, in the event The Food Bank determines a route may be too dangerous for the driver, we will cancel the delivery and contact you. If we do not call you, assume the route will run.

If the delivery route is running and you are unable to accept your delivery, please call the day before your delivery is scheduled, if possible. If there has been no attempt to notify The Food Bank before the delivery has been made, a $100 restocking fee may be applied. The safety of our drivers is a priority, so please be patient and allow extra time for the driver to arrive. The condition of the roads and traffic may cause a delay. If we know there will be a considerable delay, we will notify you. In the event your delivery must be cancelled due to inclement weather, it may be necessary to contact your agency during non-business hours. Please make sure The Food Bank has two current contacts on file; preferable a cell phone number for each. To view your agency contacts online, go to your Primarius online account, click on “MY AGENCY” on the top right of any page, and click through the tabs to see the information we have on file for your organization. Please email updates/corrections to Corrections cannot be made over the phone. Thank you so much for serving hungry families in southwest Missouri! We are so thankful for the work you are doing to Transform Hunger into Hope in the Ozarks.

DID YOU KNOW? One in four people in southwest Missouri are served by Ozarks Food Harvest’s pantries and programs.

pg. 2


OCT. 2019

CSFP PROGRAM MEETINGS AND REVIEW YIELD OUTSTANDING RESULTS In September, The Food Bank hosted two Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) meetings, where agencies spent the day learning about future program updates. Agencies were given the option to attend either Sept. 17 or 26. We were excited to the see both sessions well attended and plan to continue these trainings at The Food Bank on an annual basis. CSFP is one of The Food Bank’s most widely reached programs, operating in all 28 counties and at 33 locations. Currently, The Food Bank serves more than 3,500 seniors a month through this program. In September, staff from the office of the Missouri Health and Human ResourcesBureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance conducted a review of Ozarks Food Harvest’s program. This annual review included visits to four hunger-relief partners that distribute senior boxes at the local level and ended with a management review at Ozarks Food Harvest. As a result, no findings were noted and the review team was extremely impressed with our program. Huge thank you to all who help distribute senior boxes to our senior communities!

An agency garden can provide education and produce to clients.

FALL REGIONAL MEETINGS FOCUS ON GARDENING This year’s Fall Regional Meetings highlighted ways for agencies to access more fresh, local produce for their clients. Three wonderful agencies and one partner garden hosted network members during four separate meetings. Nevada Community Outreach, Crosslines-Joplin, Salvation Army-Lebanon, and the growers at Victory Garden in Strafford were excellent guides as we explored their gardens. “Gardens are not one size and shape fits all,” said Alexa Poindexter, Full Circle Gardens coordinator. “Each agency has developed a garden that works well for their location, volunteer force and needs.” Operating an agency garden is a great way to teach growing to communities while reaping the benefit of fresh produce for clients, but that doesn’t work for every agency. Other ways to access produce without the planting and weeding include working with nearby farmers markets, farms and backyard growers to collect excess produce. Roadside stands, community gardens, and pick-your-own locations are also good places to connect with so they know you’re willing to take leftover fruits and vegetables. Agencies and volunteers can also glean. Gleaning is the act of gathering the leftovers after the initial harvest. Gleaning from farms entails harvesting the fruits and vegetables that aren’t perfect market quality, but they are still safe and nutritious to eat.

The CSFP program helps seniors in need.

Vegetable seeds and seeding supplies are usually available upon request from The Food Bank. These supplies can be distributed to your clients and within the community for those interested in giving gardening a try. For more information, please reach out to Alexa Poindexter at pg. 3


OCT. 2019 Q & A CORNER

TERRI WRENFROW Executive Director of Oregon County Food Pantry – Alton/Thayer I started working with Ozarks Food Harvest in 2004 through the Oregon County Health Department, which I have worked at for 27 years. I volunteered when the Health Department and was considering starting a pantry. It has been very rewarding to know I have helped so many of my neighbors.

Seniors enjoy their time together at Central Crossing.


CENTRAL CROSSING SENIOR CENTER Senior Center Offers Meals and Community in Shell Knob In 1998, five community-minded individuals started Central Crossing Senior Center with $50 and a dream. The center, owned and operated by Shell Knob Seniors, Inc., is dedicated to serving seniors in the community. The center advocates for seniors, provides resources and assists them in developing skills to remain selfsufficient. Seniors can take part in daily meals, fitness classes, card games, computer training and more. “A typical day here is positive and active,” shared Terri Johnson, senior center administrator for Central Crossing. “Our atmosphere is always welcoming.” The center serves lunch to about 50 people each day. The food they serve is delivered by Ozarks Food Harvest on a regular basis. Seniors enjoy a rotating selection of meals like fried chicken, lasagna, braised pork chops and fish. Kitchen staff also cook and deliver meals to home-bound seniors. Welcome to


“We enjoy so much everything we get from Ozarks Food Harvest,” said Terri. “It’s truly a great service for our center.” Terri regularly hears stories from seniors about how spending time at the center has made a difference in their lives.

I have the best volunteers that truly care and have been volunteering for many years. I have two husband-and-wife teams that make my job so much easier. Larry and Daisy Simmons and Larry and Beverly Harris have been doing this with me for years, which makes us a good team. We have made special bonds and friendship with so many. I love spending time with my family and living on our farm. The craziest thing I have ever done was ride the Royal Rush Skycoaster swing over the Royal Gorge in Colorado. I wouldn’t do it again, but it was a blast at the time!

“All of our seniors are unique. Each one has a story and they tell their stories very well,” she shared. Central Crossing also offers medical equipment lending, tax preparation, Medicare counseling and a library. But the most important thing they offer is community. “We are here for them. We all enjoy what we do here to better serve our seniors and our community,” Terri said. We’re so grateful for the impact Central Crossing is making in the Shell Knob area! To learn more about the center, visit http://shellknobseniorsinc. org/.

Welcome to


O’Reilly Center For Hunger Relief

pg. 4

pg. 4


OCT. 2019

GOOD NEWS AT THE FOOD BANK Ozarks Food Harvest earns high score from AIB International inspection. Every two years, The Food Bank undergoes a thorough inspection from food safety professionals at AIB. The process involves a complete examination of Ozarks Food Harvest’s sanitation practices, documentation processes, pest control criteria and operating procedures to ensure the facility meets food safety standards. We are proud to announce that The Food Bank received a rating of 960 out of 1000! We also earned a perfect score on sanitation practices. Maintaining excellent conditions in our warehouse and volunteer center allows us to provide the best service to our hunger-relief partners. Thank you for your continued support as we Transform Hunger into Hope. 21st annual Hungerthon helps provide weekend meals for 522 children! From Sept. 6-9, The Food Bank and iHeartMedia’s 105.9 KGBX were joined by community members and local businesses to raise funds for Ozarks Food Harvest’s Weekend Backpack Program. The 21st annual Hungerthon collected $156,564, which will provide 522 children with nutritious meals for every weekend of the school year. Throughout the weekend, Kevin Howard and Liz Delany of the Kevin and Liz Show spent more than 30 hours discussing the Weekend Backpack Program on-air. Thank you so much to 105.9 KGBX and Kevin and Liz for helping Ozarks Food Harvest provide food for kids that might not get enough to eat on the weekends.

Major federal child nutrition programs are impacted by the CNR bill.

WHAT IS THE CHILD NUTRITION REAUTHORIZATION BILL? The Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation in regards to solving child food insecurity in southwest Missouri, and the debate for its reauthorization will begin this year. The major federal child nutrition programs impacted by the CNR bill include the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This bill affects all of our communities in Missouri, as there are more than 370,000 children in the state using the NSLP program (free and reduced lunch) from their schools during the school year. But, when school is out during the summer, only 12 percent of those children access a summer feeding program, leaving too many children unserved. Ozarks Food Harvest sponsors many CACFP and SFSP programs in southwest Missouri to help these children focus on school and not wonder where their next meal will come from. Ozarks Food Harvest’s priority is to encourage Congress to strengthen child nutrition programs so that we can offer summer and after-school meal programs in more communities to close the meal gap for kids across southwest Missouri. If you have further questions about the CNR bill, contact Jordan Browning, Ozarks Food Harvest’s advocacy coordinator, at

Kevin and Liz support Hungerthon each year.

pg. 5

TFAP CORNER As a rule, there should never be a reason to hold USDA food for more than six months. If you are experiencing an issue with an overabundance of food, please notify The Food Bank immediately. Also, there is still some confusion with date extensions and USDA food. Date extensions DO NOT APPLY regarding USDA food. The state guideline says, “In no case may the inventory level of each TEFAP product exceed a six month supply unless sufficient justification for additional inventory has been submitted to, and approved by, The Food Bank with State Agency concurrence.” COMING MARCH 2020 MANDATORY TEFAP TRAINING at The Food Bank, date TBD.

CONTACT US Ozarks Food Harvest Member Services 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. Springfield Mo., 65803 417.380.5007

Thank you for helping us Transform Hunger into Hope.

pg. 6

THE MEMBER SERVICES TEAM Mary Zumwalt, Director of Programs & Member Services Jordan Browning, Comm. Partnerships & Advocacy Coordinator Casey Gunn, Retail Compliance Specialist Heather Haloupek, Child Nutrition Programs Coordinator Kimberly Hansen, CSFP/Senior Box Coordinator Terra Lamb, Agency Capacity Manager Rebecca Moore, Backpack Program Coordinator Jane Terry, Creative Information Specialist Melanie Toler, Member Services Assistant Shada Travis, Agency Support Specialist

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