Springfield, MO

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Nonprofits share in $100k Walmart State Foundation grant

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Efforts to help southern Missouri residents face hunger issues got a shot in the arm this month through a $100,000 matching grant from the Walmart State Foundation.

A group of 19 Community Foundation of the Ozarks affiliates raised $105,000, resulting in the $100,000 matching grant. The funding is channeled through Ozarks Food Harvest, which was chosen last year to participate in the Walmart State Foundation State Giving Program. That program began in response to the national report, “Hunger in America 2010,” which described the extent to which hunger affects Ozarks Communities, according to a CFO news release. The report found that an estimated 155,000 Ozarks residents face chronic hunger issues.

CFO affiliates that responded to the hunger grant challenge are in several locations, including Aurora, Bolivar, Cassville, Marshfield, Nixa, Taney County and the Finley River-Ozark area.

Bart Brown, president and CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest, said his organization is seeing a different type of client: unemployed middle class people who have assets such as homes and cars, which often disqualify them from receiving help from federal food programs.

“The need for private food assistance here in the Ozarks will continue to increase for the next several years, because we will be dealing with sustained long-term unemployment, higher and deeper poverty levels and dramatic increases in food insecurity,” Brown said in the release.

Ozarks Food Harvest will be able to use the $205,000 to leverage about $1 million worth of food to feed those who seek help from the organization, and Brown noted that the funds will support mobile food pantries, equipment improvements for existing pantry operations and programs specifically for children.[[In-content Ad]]


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