Food giveaways across county feed hundreds of residents
Schools, churches and organizations around the county are working to organize a variety of upcoming food giveaways to ensure that no family in Ozark County goes hungry. Information on three upcoming events is listed below.
Those organizing future food-giveaway or community-support events are encouraged to contact the Ozark County Times to have the event included in upcoming edition. Call 417-679-4641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lutie serves 175 families at July giveaway, next event is Aug. 10
A food giveaway will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10, at Lutie School. There are no residency, income or other requirements, and the boxes are available for all community members to receive. Call Lutie School at 417-273-4274 to sign up to receive a free box of food during the giveaway. Organizers say residents can pick up additional boxes for home bound or other family members who are unable to be at the Aug. 10 event.
The July 23 food giveaway at Lutie School served 175 families including more than 400 people, organizers say. The joint effort was organized by Lutie School, Salem General Baptist Church and Ozark Food Harvest.
“We put a team together today of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, adults and kids to hand out a semi-truck load of food…. It’s not that hard, folks, to come together. You just have to care about the people,” a post on the Lutie School Facebook page said. “It was hot on the asphalt, but these warriors hung in there and did an excellent job.”
The effort has grown each month since it was started in April. The first giveaway April 30 provided food for 50 families. The second giveaway on June 19 provided food for 150 families. The July 23 giveaway provided food for 175 families. The group expects to have even more boxes at the Aug. 11 giveaway.
The food boxes are provided to all residents who want them. There are no income, residency or other requirements to receive the food from the Lutie giveaways.
Ozark County Food Pantry - Wednesdays, Aug. 5 and 12
The next Ozark County Food Pantry will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the food pantry’s new building on Highway 160/5 across the road from Chaney Monument.
The distribution will again operate as a drive-thru event due to concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, a process that has continued since April.
Those participating in the food pantry should remain in their vehicles and line up in the parking lot and on the roadway. The only requirement at this time is that those receiving food from the pantry are Ozark County residents.
Those who are new to the food pantry are asked to bring a photo ID and proof of residence such as an electric bill or other bill in the resident’s name with an Ozark County address. When the food pantry returns to normal after pandemic concerns have eased, income requirements will be reinstated; however, proof of income will not be required this month.
For more information, call the Ozark County Health Department, 417-679-3334.
First Baptist Church fresh produce giveaway - Thursdays
The First Baptist Church in Gainesville is hosting free fresh-produce distributions weekly, usually on Thursdays. Visit the “First Baptist Church - Gainesville” Facebook page for weekly distribution times, or call the church at 417-679-4473 for more information.
FBC Pastor Mason Eslinger said the food, provided in cooperation with the Missouri Baptist Association, will be distributed first come, first served to those who drive up to the church’s basement door on Second Street in Gainesville next to the Robert Burns Masonic Lodge.
The church held its first fresh-produce distribution on June 23, and the events have continued almost weekly since then.
To maintain social distancing, volunteers will be standing outside, Eslinger said. Those wishing to pick up food will pull up to the basement door, open a car door or window, and the volunteer will set the food in their vehicles.
The produce boxes include such items as apples, potatoes, celery, tomatoes carrots, peppers and other fruits and vegetables. There are no requirements to qualify for the food distribution, he said. “It’s open to everyone who needs it.”