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Hunger in Oklahoma

Hunger in Oklahoma

More than 675,000 Oklahomans are at risk of going hungry every day.

  • One in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger.
  • Of households experiencing hunger, less than 20 percent are classified as unemployed. More than one-third are disabled and/or retired, while the remaining 46 percent have at least one working member.
  • More people are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, than any other time in Oklahoma's history and unemployment is at a five-year high.

Thanks to partner agencies, donors, volunteers and advocates, there is hope.

  • For every $1 donated, the Regional Food Bank provides 5 meals.
  • The Regional Food Bank's administrative and fundraising costs are less than four percent.
  • The Regional Food Bank distributes enough food to feed more than 90,000 hungry Oklahomans each week – yet there are still thousands going without food.
  • During fiscal year 2013, the Regional Food Bank distributed 47.9 million pounds of food and products to hungry Oklahomans in 53 central and western counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 500 million pounds of food and product.

The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, seniors and children.

According to a local analysis of the 2010 Feeding America Hunger Study:

  • Among all clients served by emergency food programs, 77 percent are classified as food insecure, using the U.S. Government’s official food security scale.
  • 36 percent of clients said they were experiencing hunger at the time they were surveyed.
  • Among households with children, 78 percent are food insecure and 34 percent are experiencing hunger.
  • Among households with seniors, 44 percent are food insecure and 34 percent are experiencing hunger.
  • 76 percent of client households reported that during the previous 12 months they had been in a situation where the food they bought did not last and they did not have money to get more food.
  • 69 percent of client households stated that they sometimes or often could not afford to eat balanced meals.
  • Although 56 percent of adults reported that they sometimes skipped meals or cut the size of meals because there was not enough money for food, these adults tried to assure that their children had food. Only 11 percent of households stated that their children had to skip meals because there was not enough food.

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The High Price of Hunger in Oklahoma

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