Nearly 100 grocery stores in more than 50 communities collected a record $35,000 for Ozarks Food Harvest during The Food Bank's 14th annual Check Out Hunger campaign.
"We are truly grateful for the unwavering support of our local grocers who have helped make Check Out Hunger more successful than ever," said Denise Gibson, development director at Ozarks Food Harvest. "Their help has been vital in not only raising funds, but helping educate the public about the solvable issue of hunger in the Ozarks."
Check Out Hunger gives community members the opportunity to add a $1, $3 or $5 tax-free donation to their bill when checking out at area grocers. Newcomers Gott Town & Country and Country Mart, Hy-Vee and MaMa Jean's helped OFH surpass its fundraising goal, along with veterans Akin's, Bistro Market, Dillons, Harter House, Murfin's Market, Price Cutter, Ramey, Save-A-Lot, Smitty's, Summer Fresh and Woods Supermarket.
The funds will help feed those who access hunger relief services from 250 OFH pantries and kitchens in 28 Ozarks counties. With every dollar, The Food Bank can provide six meals for those in need.
Last year, Ozarks Food Harvest's Check Out Hunger program raised $22,000, and since 1998, the holiday campaign has collected $235,000 in donations.
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 250 nonprofit agencies across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 10 million meals annually to 170,000 unduplicated individuals. OFH celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2013. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.