SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Ozarks Food Harvest yesterday received its largest company fundraising donation of 2020 with a gift from Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops and NASCAR legend Richard Childress. Totaling over $70,500, the donation allows the Springfield-based not-for-profit organization to provide more than 282,000 meals to families throughout the Ozarks.
The gift came as the result of some friendly competition. In June, longtime friend and racing partner Richard Childress of Richard Childress Racing donated $25,000 to Ozarks Food Harvest, which is experiencing historic demand due to the pandemic. Johnny Morris immediately committed to match Childress’ donation with an additional $25,000, and challenged his fellow Outfitters at the company’s Base Camp headquarters to help support area families in need. Accepting the challenge, departments “raced” against one another in a team effort to reduce hunger in the Ozarks as part of September’s Hunger Action Month.
Ultimately, 800 team members donated to the cause, with a total of nearly $20,000 in cash and direct donations, and another $1,200-plus from the sale of special smoothies and meals at the on-site Clearwater Café.
“We are so thankful to Richard Childress, Johnny Morris and everyone at Bass Pro Shops for their gift to help folks struggling with hunger through the pandemic,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults face hunger in the Ozarks, a figure that has grown due to the pandemic, and these dollars will help them tremendously.”
The donation fills a void for Ozarks Food Harvest, which had to cancel signature fundraising events, leaving fewer avenues for assistance available to those most in need of help.
“This year has presented challenges like we have never seen before, and it has led us all to come together and support one another to get through these difficult times,” Johnny Morris said. “It also has reminded us of our many blessings, including caring friends like Richard Childress and the wonderful community we call home. We are honored to support the great work Ozarks Food Harvest does to help so many in our beloved Ozarks community.”
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About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”
Bass Pro Communications