The Ozark Chamber of Commerce honored the nonprofit Lease of These Inc. with its annual Business of the Year award.
Least of These, which operates the only full-service food pantry serving Christian County, was recognized May 7 at a ceremony hosted by the chamber in partnership with the Finley River Community Foundation, according to a news release.
“We know that it is only because of the generous support from the communities we serve that we are able to help those in need in Christian County,” said Kristy Carter, executive director of the nonprofit, in the release. “Thanks to our donors, advocates and volunteers, we will continue to work to eliminate food insecurity in Christian County and have a positive impact in the area we serve.”
So far in 2022, Least of These has served more than 10,000 people, according to the release.
“I nominated Least of These because of their passion for helping others. This passion helps to feed so many of the 11.5% of people in Christian County who are experiencing food insecurity,” said Jess Hodges, owner/agent at Hodges Insurance Agency and board member for Least of These, in the release.
Least of These has an operating budget of $3.2 million and six employees, said Jacqué Breedlove-Harness, the nonprofit's marketing and communications coordinator.
Ariake Sushi and Robata opened; Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) opened its newest branch in Springfield; and a longtime employee with City Utilities of Springfield went into business for himself with the launch of Van Every Drafting & Design LLC.