JOPLIN, Mo. — The Independent Living Center has received a grant from Ozarks Food Harvest to ensure southwest Missouri families in need stay fed this year.

The $1 million investment from Ozarks Food Harvest will go towards expanding hunger-relief efforts in Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Dade, Barry, and Barton County. It will help purchase food items in order to increase food capacity for the area.

The Independent Living Center served 2,800 families with food and other supplies just last year. They were one of more than 70 organizations chosen by Ozarks Food Harvest to receive this type of grant.

“This grant is a blessing as the children, families and seniors we serve continue to deal with economic uncertainty,” said Kristi Benefiel, Executive Assistant of The Independent Living Center. “Thanks to Ozarks Food Harvest, we’re able to distribute more food now and in the future.”

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 270 charities across 28 Ozarks counties.