Ozarks Food Harvest helps bring meals to seniors in Carl Junction

Joplin Area Coronavirus

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Until the 2011 Joplin tornado, many area residents had never heard of Ozarks Food Harvest.

The Region Ten Area Agency on Aging has 7 locations in Southwest Missouri, including here in Carl Junction.

All of them were shut down to walk in senior traffic in March, causing many centers to increase the number of meals they deliver.

That’s when Ozarks Food Harvest came to the rescue.

A representative with Region Ten Area Agency on Aging went to Springfield back in February to see if they could qualify for these free monthly shipments, they started receiving them in May.

The timing of the deliveries was ideal because of the ever increasing demand for the total number of meal deliveries.

Tammie Lynch, C.J. Center Manager, said, “And and some weeks we do 20 25 and some weeks we do 50 or 75.

And there’s more to the deliveries than just food.

Brittany Caine, Nutrition Program Director, Area Agency of Aging, said, “We’ve been getting items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent and fresh fruit and vegetables at times, we’ve also gotten some baked good contributions and we also try and focus on getting some shelf stable items, that way if our clients are ever in a pinch in between their meal deliveries, that way they have something on hand for themselves.”

Kurtis Steinman says he loves being a part of an organization that can be the difference between life and death for some seniors.

Kurtis Steinman, Ozarks Food Harvest Route Driver, said, “Trucking jobs are a bit common, you can get them especially if you’re a good driver, but to do something like this knowing you’re doing something positive along with doing your profession kind of gives you a little bonus, and uh to know that we’re doing work at a time when everybody needs a little bit of help.”

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