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Ozarks Food Harvest to distribute 9,000 garden kits to fight hunger


Ozarks Food Harvest’s Full Circle Gardens program will distribute more than 9,000 Garden-to-Go kits this year to help families facing hunger in the Ozarks grow their own food, officials announced. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, Seed Savers Exchange, The Buffalo Seed Company and other local retailers, donated more than $1.2 million worth of seeds to The Food Bank to make the kits. 

The food bank will distribute their Garden-to-Go Kits to their network of 270 faith-based and community charities as well as other Feeding America food banks in Missouri, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank in Texas. To access Garden-to-Go Kits, people can visit the food bank’s “Need Help” webpage to contact the hunger-relief charity closest to them. They may also contact Ozarks Food Harvest’s Full Circle Gardens team at 417-864-3411 ext. 154 or fullcirclegardens@ozarksfoodharvest.org.

“We appreciate all of our donors and volunteers that continue to make our Garden-to-Go Kits possible,” said Alexa Poindexter, director of Full Circle Gardens at Ozarks Food Harvest. “This is such a great way to get families involved with growing their own food supply and being part of the solution to end hunger in the Ozarks.”

Ozarks Food Harvest staff and volunteers sorted, assembled and packed Garden-to-Go kit materials every Wednesday through February. Each kit contains seeds for a flower, herb and eight different vegetables. To make planting easier, the kits also contain a specific planting calendar with links to gardening instructions and budget friendly cookbooks.

Ozarks Food Harvest’s Full Circle Gardens program began in 2014 with gleaning from local farms as part of their strategic initiative to increase fresh produce distribution. Today, the food bank collaborates with dozens of local partners, 49 produce donors and distributes more than 60,000 seed packets to the community every year.

The food bank has many opportunities to get involved this season to help families in the community have more access to fresh produce. Those who have their own garden are invited to plant an extra row and bring the harvest for donation to Ozarks Food Harvest. Those with a large garden, farm or orchard can contact the food bank’s Glean Team at fullcirclegardens@ozarksfoodharvest.org to harvest and collect donations.

Anyone interested in joining the Glean Team or volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest can sign up at ozarksfoodharvest.org/volunteer.