This Giving Tuesday, Ozarks Food Harvest asks the community to help kick off the charitable giving season by giving back to families facing hunger in southwest Missouri.

Giving Tuesday, recognized on social media with the hashtag #GivingTuesday, is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration to encourage support of nonprofit organizations. Following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, this year’s Giving Tuesday will take place today, and encourage people to give back.

Ozarks Food Harvest has set a fundraising goal of $15,000, which officials say will help provide 60,000 meals to families in the Ozarks. Community members can support the food bank by donating through its website or Facebook fundraiser today. Feeding Missouri, the Feeding America food bank coalition for Missouri, will match donations dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.

“Winter can be extremely challenging for food-insecure families,” said Denise Gibson, development and communication director at Ozarks Food Harvest. “All donations made on Giving Tuesday will help provide meals and hope for people facing hunger in southwest Missouri this holiday season.”

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

Since 2014, Ozarks Food Harvest has raised nearly $60,000 through Giving Tuesday campaigns to help provide nearly 240,000 meals to food insecure families in the Ozarks.

 To make a donation to Ozarks Food Harvest, visit ozarksfoodharvest.org/donate or follow @ozarksfoodharvest on Facebook and use the “Donate” button on the right side of the page.

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