A supermarket with locations in Texas County is among 76 in southwest Missouri teaming up with Ozarks Food Harvest to Check Out Hunger during the 19th annual fundraiser that continues until Dec. 31.

Check Out Hunger gives shoppers the opportunity to add a $1, $3 or $5 tax-free donation to their grocery bill when checking out at area retailers, including Town and Country Supermarket.

When a customer chooses to add a donation to his or her grocery bill, the cashier simply scans the donation barcode and the donor signs a paper apple for display. The tax-free gift is added to the bill and appears on the receipt.

In the 28 counties Ozarks Food Harvest serves, 261,000 individuals receive food assistance. Many of these individuals are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. In southwest Missouri, one in five children struggle with food insecurity.

 “Hunger happens every day of the year for too many children, families and seniors right here in the Ozarks,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “We’re so thankful for the generosity shown by local grocers and community members every holiday season during Check Out Hunger. These donations will provide hundreds of thousands of much-needed meals.”

The 2016 fundraiser collected $45,482 — the equivalent of nearly 182,000 meals. Since 1998, the holiday campaign has collected $464,364 — providing nearly 2.28 million meals. Every dollar raised through the Check Out Hunger fundraiser will provide five meals to hungry children, families and seniors this holiday season.

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