In the Southwest Missouri region, about 16% of people are food insecure. Almost 67% of people in the Ozark region have to make the decision between buying groceries or paying for utilities.
Ozarks Food Harvest (OFH) is a food bank that helps combat this food insecurity by providing food from various donors to the community. MSU Care is a clinic affiliated with Mercy. It serves the uninsured, low income adults ages 18-64. MSU Care and Ozarks Food Harvest teamed up together to help serve the MSU Care patients through a community garden in Rogersville that OFH helps harvest.
Recently, dietetic intern Rachel Diener worked with this project to make a recipe from produce that was being handed out by the Ozarks Food Harvest’s food truck to the patients at MSU Care. She was excited to show the patients what they could do with the wonderful produce. She made a delicious rainbow vegetable salad from zucchini, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and red cabbage with a honey vinegar dressing.
People lined up early to get their free produce, as well as a small sample of the colorful salad. Clinic patients enjoyed being able to sample, and then subsequently take home a recipe they could create with the same food items in their bags. The project was a great success and many requested that the food truck at MSU Care become a monthly event. We hope future partnerships develop between MSU Care, Ozarks Food Harvest and MSU Dietetics Internship.