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Turkey Trot brings in 7,700 pounds of donations for Ozarks Food Harvest

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Last edited 5:07 p.m., Dec. 2, 2011

More than 7,700 pounds of food were donated this past Turkey Day, thanks to the more than 8,000 runners, walkers and do-gooders in Springfield’s 17th annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk.

The 7,734 pounds of food helps Ozarks Food Harvest meet their 1 million pound monthly food collection target and will help dish out almost 6,000 more meals this holiday season, said Lindsey Neddenriep, public relations coordinator for Ozarks Food Harvest.

“This is the largest single-day drive this year,” she said, excluding emergency disaster relief drives. “And it came in perfect time, just before the holidays."

Neddenriep said donations through food drives are important because the food isn’t salvaged and the packaging is still intact.

“We collect some of our most-needed items this way,” she said, "such as canned tuna or boxed dinners that are ready to prepare.”

Neddenriep said roughly 3 percent of the its food bank network’s 12 million pounds of yearly food donations come from food drives.

“Over half of the food we distribute comes from manufacturers, distributors and growers, such as Kraft, Tyson, Wal-Mart and Associated Wholesale Grocers to name a few.”

Ozarks Food Harvest distributes the food to more than 300 certified hunger relief organizations in 28 counties across southwest Missouri.

During Last year's Turkey Trot, Ozarks Food Harvest reported more than 11,000 pounds of food donations, but 4,000 of those pounds were in bottled water, said Neddenriep.

“(This year’s numbers) look like food collection went down,” she said. "But it actually went up.”

Since 2001, Ozarks Food Harvest has collected nearly 50,000 pounds of food in partnership with the Springfield Turkey Trot.

The Springfield Turkey Trot is the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K race in the state of Missouri, according to a news release. Last year’s participants totaled 7,155.[[In-content Ad]]

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