Ozark County Health Dept gets grant for new food pantry site


The Ozark County Health Department has received a grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to create a new facility for the Ozark County Food Pantry. For the last few years, the food pantry has operated out of this building – the former Hodgson Mill Enterprises plant. Since early December, it has been sharing the space with Ozark Vinyl, a plastic-recycling company.

The Ozark County Health Department has been awarded a $272,563 grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to create a new facility for the Ozark County Food Pantry. 

OCHD administrator Rhonda Suter said the health department’s board of directors is considering purchasing an existing building for the food pantry and remodeling it to better serve food pantry clients. She declined to say what building the board is considering until more details can be worked out. The location of the new site will be made public “when papers and contracts are signed,” Suter said. 

OCHD has three years to complete the grant-funded project, she said, “but hopefully it doesn’t take that long.”

The food pantry, which now is housed in the former Hodgson Mill Enterprises building on County Road 806 in Gainesville, shares the space with Ozark Vinyl, a plastic-recycling business. The building is owned by the nonprofit Gainesville Industrial and Community Development Committee.

The food pantry serves an average of 200 to 250 families each month (which equates to 400 to 500 individuals), Suter said. It operates with the help of volunteers and with donations of food and cash from individuals and organizations. 

Those needing food pantry assistance should call the health department at 679-3334.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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

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