Ozarks Million Dollar Hunger Challenge Announced

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The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is pleased to announce the Ozarks Million Dollar Hunger Challenge. Made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation State Program and a partnership with Ozarks Food Harvest, this program allows CFO affiliate community foundations to raise  dollars that will be matched 1:1 to fight hunger in their local communities. The program will leverage the initial $100,000 gift into $200,000 which will procure $1 million worth of food through Ozarks Food Harvest, the only food bank serving one-third of Missouri.

Twenty-one  affiliates have chosen to participate in this program which was available to those CFO affiliates that fall within Ozarks Food Harvest’s 29-county service area. A complete of list participating affiliates is located at the end of this story.

“It’s only natural that we partner with the Walmart Foundation and CFO since our service areas in this part of the state literally mirror each other,” said Bart Brown, president and CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest.

Hunger challenge funds have been established as component funds of each participating affiliate community foundation. The matching opportunity runs through June 30, 2010.

“The challenging economic environment we’re facing calls for us to identify new resources to help with hunger, and make the existing ones stretch further,” said Brian Fogle, executive vice president of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. “The generous Walmart grant provides the catalyst for our affiliates to raise matching funds, and the strength and connections of Ozarks Food Harvest insure those funds will be used in the most effective manner to address hunger in our Ozarks region.”

This partnership was unveiled following the February 4th announcement of a new landmark hunger study which found that Ozarks Food Harvest is serving 155,000 individuals annually. Ozarks Food Harvest-The Food Bank distributed seven milion pounds of food during its last fiscal year, the highest distribution in its 27-year history. To view the complete study and learn more, please visit ozarksfoodharvest.org.

Ozarks Million Dollar Hunger Challenge participating affiliates include:
– Aurora Area Community Foundation
– Bolivar Area Community Foundation
– Cassville Community Foundation
– DACO Community Foundation
– Dallas County Community Foundation
– El Dorado Springs Community Foundation
– Finley River Community Foundation
– Houston Community Foundation
– Jacks Fork Community Foundation
– Marshfield Area Community Foundation
– Mtn. Grove Area Community Foundation
– Nixa Community Foundation
– Oregon County Community Foundation
– Ozark County Community Foundation
– Greater Seymour Area Foundation
– Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri (Carthage & Joplin)
– Stockton Community Foundation
– Table Rock Lake Community Foundation
– Taney County Community Foundation
–  Community Foundation of West Plains

CAPTION: From left to right: Skip Tinney, market manager, Walmart; Sharon Whitehill Gray, president, Nixa Community Foundation & CFO board member; Leigh Hall, Nixa Community Foundation board member; Brian Fogle, CFO; Betty Ann Rogers, Nixa Community Foundation board member; and Bart Brown, president/CEO, Ozarks Food Harvest.

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