Inflation has hit Ozark County Food Pantry hard; donations accepted

Ozark County Food Pantry distribution schedule for 2023

Ozark County Food Pantry, Highway 160, Gainesville

Editor’s note: The Ozark County Food Pantry is located at  20477 Highway 160 in Gainesville. It is managed by the Ozark County Health Department. See distribution calendar below.

The Ozark County Food Pantry has been hit hard as inflation tightens wallets across the country. 

The number of families and individuals the food pantry serves has risen 34 percent in the last year, and with the increase of food prices nationwide, the pantry is struggling to keep food on the shelves. 

The Ozark County Food Pantry serves between 350 to 360 Ozark County families, or 850-875 individuals, each month. This number has increased 100 families compared to this time last year.

The pantry receives USDA commodities each month, which is also being hit hard; therefore the boxes being distributed locally are very thin. Sadly, like others throughout our state, our families are dealing with rising costs for gas and are trying to figure out how they will be able to fill up a grocery cart. That isn’t going away anytime soon.

With the pantry being hit by inflation and more families in need of assistance, we are in desperate need of donations. Not only are we in need of donations for food items each month and all year, but we also must have the money to keep our food pantry building running and open.

The Ozark County Food Pantry receives anywhere between 15 and 20 percent of its food from donations from the general public, and the remainder of donations are purchased from Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield. 

A year ago we were able to purchase quite a bit of food for a discounted rate, but in this last year the amount we need to purchase has nearly doubled, and the food harvest has seen an increase in higher prices and lower availability in products. 

The Ozark County Food Pantry is accepting non-perishable food items such as canned goods and boxed items in addition to any monetary donation. Donations of any kind would be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the Ozark County Health Department, 370 Third Street in Gainesville or mailed to PO Box 180 Gainesville, MO 65655. 

To ask questions or find out more information, call the Ozark County Food Pantry at 417-679-3334.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423