Local grocers help Ozarks Food Harvest feed families

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Annual Check Out Hunger campaign runs through Dec. 31

The 22nd annual Check Out Hunger campaign begins Nov. 1 with more than 60 local grocers partnering with Ozarks Food Harvest to help provide meals for families during the holiday season.

The campaign continues through Dec. 31. Check Out Hunger allows customers to add a $1, $3 or $5 tax-free donation to their grocery bill when checking out at local retailers. This year, participating grocers include Apple Market, Country Mart, Harter House, Hy-Vee, King Cash Saver, Price Cutter, Ramey, Rhodes Family Price Chopper, Town & Country Supermarket and Woods Supermarket.

Every dollar raised through Check Out Hunger will help provide $10 worth of groceries to children, families and seniors at risk of hunger in southwest Missouri. The coronavirus pandemic has made donations especially important this year as families face challenges due to job loss, reduced income and emergency expenses.

Participating grocery stores have Check Out Hunger signs at the checkout lanes. When a customer decides to donate through the campaign, the cashier scans the donation barcode, and the donor signs a paper apple for display. The tax- free gift is added to the bill and appears on the receipt.

“More families will be experiencing hunger this holiday season due to COVID-19,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “We are incredibly grateful for our local grocers and their customers who support our mission to help put meals on the table for people facing hunger.”

In southwest Missouri, 1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults struggle with food insecurity, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. More than 261,000 individuals across 28 counties receive food assistance from Ozarks Food Harvest annually.

Last year, Ozarks Food Harvest’s Check Out Hunger campaign raised more than $43,000 to help provide nearly

173,000 meals to children, families and seniors in southwest Missouri. Since 1998, the holiday campaign has collected more than $608,500 — providing 2.68 million meals.