Grants Help RFBO’s Kids Cafe

The Regional Food Bank couldn’t do what it does without the generous donations made by individuals, corporations and foundations. These donations help financially support every aspect of the Food Bank from its general operations to programs like Food for Kids, Senior Feeding and Kids Cafe.

Last fall, we received a generous grant from Share Our Strength for our Kids Cafe afterschool and summer feeding programs. This grant was made possible through a donation made by Cargill and Diamond Crystal Salt on behalf of their Oklahoma City employees. For the last six months, the Food Bank has been using Share Our Strength’s grant to make capital purchases for our Kids Cafe locations.

A total of 15 different pieces of large equipment was purchased for Kids Cafe. This equipment included lunch trays, a freezer, storage cabinets for food, a refrigerator and portable dishwashers for locations that were washing dishes by hand. Stainless steel tables and carts were also purchased for several locations. These tables and carts will give more children a place to participate in Kids Cafe cooking activities, which are not only fun but help teach math and measuring skills. All of the equipment will help Kids Cafes serve more children during their busiest summer months and increase the sites’ ability to serve more nutritious food.

Thank you Share Our Strength, Cargill and Diamond Crystal Salt for all of your support!

Before Pictures & Purchases Made with Grant

Karen Paul

Karen Paul

Karen Paul is the Grants Manager at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. In 2010, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Master's degree in Mass Communication.
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Meet Chefs Ryan Parrot and Don Duncan

Meet Chef Ryan Parrot from Iguana Mexican Grill and Chef Don Duncan from Rococo and learn more about this year’s Chefs’ Feast “Hang 10 for Hunger.”

Jill Smith

Jill Smith

Jill Smith is the Manager of Interactive Media at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. In 2008, she graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising.
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RFBO Warehouse Uncut

Humans are notorious for being curious. We want to know how everything works, explore the farthest reaches of the universe and figure out even the most inane mysteries, like how they make Gobstoppers everlasting. (Hint: it doesn’t involve the work of an eccentric confectioner and his tiny helpers). Recently, my own curiosity got the best of me while I was staring out the window of a co-worker’s office.  I was watching a warehouse employee drive by on a pallet truck with a heavy load of food. I started to wonder about what happens in our Warehouse.

I pass through the Warehouse facilities on the rare occasion I remember to dump out my recycling bin and I always see the blur of people riding around on pallet trucks moving heavy boxes but I can never figure out what they’re actually doing. So, to ease my curiosity I interviewed Mancel and Cordera who work in the Warehouse as order selectors.

Q: Why did you start working at the Food Bank?

Mancel:  I started working during the recession around July 2009.  My cousin told me about working at the Food Bank and how it’s more satisfying working at a place like the Food Bank because you know you’re helping out a lot of people.

Cordera:  I started working here through a temp agency about 6 months ago and I’d heard about the Food Bank before. I’d heard about all the work they do in the community.

Q:  What does an order selector do at the Regional Food Bank?

Cordera:  Order selectors are like the veins of the Food Bank; we keep the food going.

(Above: Cordera has loaded the food onto the pallet and is taking it over to be wrapped.)

Mancel:  When agencies make their orders we have to make sure we pull the right products for them. We use what’s called Voxware, which is voice picking software that tells us what to pull to load the pallets. Our job is all about quality assurance, making sure the food is stacked properly and preventing damage of products.

(Above: Mancel on a pallet truck.)

Q:  What happens on a normal day at the Food Bank?

Cordera:  We start off by getting our equipment, like our pallet trucks and then we log in to Voxware, which tells us what orders to pick and where to place them. We get the pallets then pull orders. After you’re done you wrap the pallet with this giant saran wrap machine, label it and put it in the correct staging area.

Mancel:  It might sound easy because the software tells us what orders to pull but it’s tricky because we have to ensure that we put the orders in the right place so when the drivers pick up the orders for delivery, the right order arrives at the correct agency. We don’t want agencies getting food they didn’t order. The order selectors and the drivers have to think alike. We have to be on the same page.

(Above: Orders being wrapped by a machine)

Q:  It’s always busy in the Warehouse but is there a time when it’s busier than usual?

Mancel:  The beginning of the month is always a little hectic for us because that’s when all the agencies order food for their pantries.

Q:  What impact in the community have you seen since your time working at the Food Bank?

(Above: The finished product.)

Mancel:  Personally, sometimes people will notice the Food Bank logo on my shirt and won’t hesitate to say how much they appreciate what the Food Bank does.

Cordera:  People acknowledge us as something good. Someone once told me that what we do here at the Food Bank is noble, and that means a lot.

Mancel:  People are so aware of what we do and they’re not afraid to show how appreciative they are. It means a lot that complete strangers know what the food bank does and they know the impact the Food Bank makes in the community.

Connie Lam

Connie Lam

Connie Lam is the Marketing Intern at the Regional Food Bank. She recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Advertising.
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An Oklahoma Mission Project

The children and youth of First Christian Church in Guthrie, OK went on a Mission Project to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 29. They helped package over 6,000 pounds of food. FCC mission’s statement is to “strive to become an informed community of faith committed to serve others through Jesus Christ.”

Thank you FCC for choosing to help people here in Oklahoma!

Jill Smith

Jill Smith

Jill Smith is the Manager of Interactive Media at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. In 2008, she graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising.
Read more articles by Jill