29

Dec

Buy & Sell on eBay, and help Oklahomans in need!


The Regional Food Bank is part of the eBay Giving Works program. So, you can support our mission when you buy and sell on eBay! Here’s how:

When your shopping: You can find whatever you’re looking for on eBay – from baseball cards to new cars and more. When you do, shop for items that benefit us. You can get a great deal and help feed hungry Oklahomans at the same time! Shop now to support the Regional Food Bank!

When your selling on eBay: You can also support the Regional Food Bank when you sell on eBay. Just designate our organization to receive 10-100 percent of your final sale price the next time you list something great. Did you know that charity listings often get more bids and higher prices than regular eBay listings? So, you can boost your sales and support our critical work while you’re at it! Plus eBay gives back to you too, with a fee credit on your basic selling fees. Sell now to support us!

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


21

Dec


Garden greetings from Urban Harvest!

Urban Harvest originally was developed to help start and sustain community gardens in the Oklahoma City area. Community gardens are gardens that are established by churches, schools, civic organizations or just neighbors who work together to grow food and plants on empty lots. Currently we are working with 28 active community gardens and have several that are in various stages of organization for the spring of 2010.   The program helps with organization and developing solid plans for gardens, provides on-the-ground assistance during the building process, looks for funding and bulk gardening materials and provides free seedlings and seed when available (last year several thousand plants were started in our greenhouses and given to gardens).  We also host quarterly meetings for networking and education.

While the philosophy “build it and they will come” makes a great movie, it does not always happen so easily in reality! The key is organizing and having a strong nucleus of dedicated gardeners. Those interested in establishing a community garden can contact Bruce at bedward@regionalfoodbank.org for more information.  And anyone can make an impact by donating gardening materials or by making a financial gift to support community gardens.

Urban Harvest has been very busy the past few months expanding its composting activities in our demonstration and production gardens located at the Regional Food Bank’s Community Garden.  We use several techniques to compost waste materials such as spoiled straw, dead leaves, grass and spoiled produce. At times, the Food Bank receives produce that is spoiled or near spoilage on arrival. Instead of throwing this raw material away—and paying someone to haul it off—we add it to our compost piles or feed it to our worms, which also produce a high quality plant food with their castings.

We use the compost to build our garden soils while diverting waste from the Oklahoma City landfill.  This helps us reduce the Food Bank’s waste removal bill. When a donation of $1 provides seven meals to Oklahoma’s hungry, this is not an insignificant act. Over the past five weeks, our composting efforts have had a financial impact of $3,000 on our organization.

Check out this video of our compost pile:

We have formed a new volunteer group called the Red Dirt Soil Builders, and you are invited to join! This group meets most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon to learn about composting and help with the labor of making compost. Volunteers may qualify for free compost next summer. Those interested can contact Bruce at 405-604-7108 or bedwards@regionalfoodbank.org.

- Bruce Edward, Urban Harvest Director

Bruce Edwards

Bruce Edwards

Bruce Edwards is the Director of the Urban Harvest program, an urban agricultural program of the Regional Food Bank that works to increase food security by making fresh fruits and vegetables available to hungry Oklahomans.
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21

Dec

NewsOK visits the Regional Food Bank


The George Kaiser Family Foundation is giving $150,000 to local organizations including the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. NewsOK stopped by to get an update on the latest at the Food Bank. Great video!

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


16

Dec

Help Hungry Children!


The Food 4 Kids program is among the finalist for the Power a Bright Future/Grants for Kids Programs by Clorox® Clean-Up®.

Food 4 Kids

Vote daily for our Food 4 Kids program. The five non-profits that receive the highest number of votes will win a $10,000 Power A Bright Future grant, courtesy of Clorox® Clean-Up® and a feature in People Magazine! Plus, as a thank you for voting, you’ll receive a $.75 cent Clorox® Clean-Up® coupon the first time you vote.

Vote daily through January 17th and encourage your friends to vote to help your favorite programs make it to the top!

Vote now on Facebook!:  http://apps.facebook.com/brightfuture/causes/1934

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


14

Dec

Thank You!


Because of your generosity, in Fiscal Year 2009, the Regional Food Bank:

  • Distributed more than 28.5 million pounds of food to those in need – a 15% increase over the previous year.
  • Served nearly 8,000 chronically hungry elementary school children in 263 schools in 38 counties through our Food 4 Kids backpack program.
  • Expanded the Summer Feeding program to 45 sites, including rural Oklahoma.
  • Provided a safe haven and an afternoon snack or meal for more than 850 children through our Kids Cafe sites.
  • Increased the Senior Feeding program to 30 sites.
  • Delivered food throughout the Regional Food Bank’s service area via the Regional Delivery System, making approximately 1,000 deliveries per month to nearly 350 delivery sites in urban and rural Oklahoma at no cost to our partner agencies.
  • Initiated the Walmart Supercenter and Neighborhood Market Product Recovery Program in late January, with 53 authorized Walmart locations – resulting in more than two million pounds of food collected and distributed.
  • Completed fundraising and construction of our Building Expansion – Volunteer Center, adding 36,600 square feet of additional freezer, dry storage and volunteer work space.
  • Welcomed thousands of volunteers who contributed over 47,000 hours of service – saving the Regional Food Bank more than $900,000 in labor costs.
  • Provided enough food to feed more than 63,600 hungry Oklahomans each week.
  • Kept our administrative and fundraising costs below 5%.

Rodney Bivens

Rodney Bivens

Rodney Bivens is the Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank. He founded the organization in 1980.
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11

Dec

The totals are in!


Project Runway’s Johnathan Kayne, KMGL’s “Magic Man” Jeff Roberts, and singer/songwriters K.C. Clifford and Sherree Chamberlain joined forces as celebrity bartenders on Wednesday at TapWerks to raise funds to fight hunger in Oklahoma. We’re happy to announce the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Celebrity Council members donated $1,966 they collected from tips and raffles, which will help provide nearly 14,000 meals to Oklahomans in need this holiday season.

Kayne 2 Bar Kayne Bartending Celeb Council - TapWerks
Photos by Brandon Bales

See what you missed:

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


Sherree Chamberlain has been quite busy lately! In fact, she’s just returning from New York where she played a Springsteen tribute show with Beau Jennings, Paul Basile, and Bryan Dunn. Meanwhile, back at home, her new song “Make Me Happy” is featured in a new Blue 7 holiday commercial. Give it a whirl, it’s really cute!

Tomorrow, she will be joining Project Runway’s Johnathan Kayne as a celebrity bartender; also joining will be KMGL’s Magic Man, Jeff Roberts, and singer/songwriter K.C. Clifford! The Celebrity Council members will be donating their tips to the Regional Food Bank.

It all starts at 5 pm at TapWerks in Bricktown, and it will be going on until 9 pm. Stop by for your chance to meet the group, and to give to a good cause. It feels good to give, right Sherree? :)

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


07

Dec

Help a Partner Agency


In the last few weeks I have visited some of the 450 churches and charities throughout central and western Oklahoma that receive food from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. These agencies operate emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior centers, group homes and more. I have visited agencies to the north, south, east and west in the 53 counties and 45,000 square miles of Oklahoma that the Regional Food Bank serves.  Each place I visit I am amazed by the awesome work being done by our partner agencies to get food to hungry Oklahomans. And I am excited to meet volunteers that have stepped up to help in the fight against hunger.

Volunteers are helping to prepare and serve meals, box and distribute food, unload trucks, sign in people being served, paint and make repairs, collect food in food drives and much more.  But more volunteers are needed.  If you as an individual or your church group, school group, or club can donate even just a few hours you can make a difference for an agency in your area and the people in our state that are struggling with hunger.  To contact an agency in your area, enter your zip code on the Find Help page to see the agencies the Food Bank serves near you.

You can help to make a difference for people in your own area that need food help. I was honored to visit with some of those people during my recent travels.  People like:

  • A single mother with 3 very small children whose husband had left them.  She had run completely out of money and was so desperate for help that she burst into tears when the pantry told her she would get a grocery cart full of food and referrals to other services.
  • A senior who was seeking help with meals after she was recovering from a serious illness that took most of her money to buy the medicines she needed.
  • A young family with 2 children that now has only one part-time minimum wage job. The husband’s employer recently closed the business where he had worked for the last 5 years. They continue to look for better work and are grateful for the food help they receive until they can get back on their feet.

People near you are struggling with hunger issues just like these.  You can help us continue “Fighting Hunger…Feeding  Hope” by giving even a little of your time and talents to a charitable feeding program near you.

- Sally White, Programs Director

Sally White

Sally White

Sally White is the Operations Programs Director at the Regional Food Bank.
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02

Dec


Last week, photographer Samantha Lamb took some amazing photos of Project Runway’s Johnathan Kayne. We’ll be using these in promo materials as he works with us to fight hunger in Oklahoma. He has a number of fundraisers coming up, the first being his celeb bartending night at TapWerks next Wednesday to benefit the Food Bank. (Hope you all can make it!)

We are so excited to be working with him. And wow, these photos are amazing!

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


02

Dec

Project Runway’s Johnathan Kayne Werks That Tip


On December 9, Project Runway star and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Celebrity Council member Johnathan Kayne will serve up drinks for tips at TapWerks (121 E Sheridan Ave in OKC) on the second floor from 5 to 9 p.m. to benefit the Food Bank!

Joining Kayne will be three more of our Celeb Council members: KMGL’s “Magic Man” Jeff Roberts and singer/songwriters K.C. Clifford and Sherree Chamberlain, who will also be bartending and donating tips to the cause.

All of the tips collected will go directly to the Regional Food Bank. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to register to win prizes for $2 donation, which will be given away once every hour.

We hope to see you there! Should be lotsa fun!

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie