Chefs’ Feast is tomorrow! It’s going to be an awesome night of tasting all the food, mingling with Regional Food Bank supporters and most of all supporting the Food for Kids programs. View all the restaurants and menus that will be available: http://www.regionalfoodbank.org/Event-Calendar/Chefs-Feast. One of the chefs that will be there tomorrow is Chef Jason from Rococo Restaurant. Check out his video below, and tell us who you think will win the Foodie Favorite Award?
Chefs’ Feast is right around the corner, and on Thursday, March 29th at 7 p.m. it will be in full swing. All proceeds benefit the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids programs. Get your tickets now at http://www.regionalfoodbank.org/Event-Calendar/Chefs-Feast, and enjoy a great night. Watch Christa Carretero with Cooking Girl below and see why she’s donating her time to Chefs’ Feast.
I recently volunteered at a couple of Senior Feeding sites this past month. During my time at the Regional Food Bank I had always hoped to learn more about the program. We hear a lot about great programs like Food for Kids, which has made an extraordinary impact in the lives of young children, but we sometimes forget about senior citizens as well.
Currently, 68 percent of senior adults in Oklahoma are food insecure and 11 percent are experiencing hunger. Services provided through the Regional Food Bank include senior mobile pantries and senior home deliveries. Mobile pantries visit senior resident sites and many of the mobile pantries visit close to the end of the month, when residents are in great need of help. Seniors receive items like fresh fruits and meat. They also receive basic staple items like milk, cereal and pasta. Through the Home Deliveries program, senior citizens who might not be able to access mobile pantries can have their food delivered to them.
I was able to volunteer at two different sites: the Northcliff Garden Retirement Village in Norman and Andrews Center in Oklahoma City. They’re both mobile pantries where residents can receive food assistance. When I arrived at Northcliff Retirement Center, one of our trucks was parked outside and Dennis, a Regional Food Bank driver assigned to the Senior Feeding route, was outside setting up tables and laying out palettes of food for the residents. After staring at a mound of food sprawled across three long tables, I thought it would be wise to ask how the operation ran. After being instructed on the ins-and-outs of distributing food to the seniors I awkwardly ambled my way around the palettes and packed bags with fresh fruits and meats.
The distribution went by quickly; residents were ready with their carts and baskets and quietly made their way through the line. I managed to chat with a couple of people as the line moved along. I spoke to a woman named Patricia, who lived and worked in Norman for most of her life. She had only just moved and was relatively new to the center but was adjusting to her new home. Other residents were chatting to each other, stopping to joke around with site coordinators. It was great to see everyone with energy and enthusiasm and it was something that I noticed when volunteering at the Andrews Center just a few days later. Almost every individual passing through said thank you or had a big smile on their face as they passed through, or joked with the staff before sitting down to converse amongst themselves.
The Food Bank’s Senior Feeding Coordinator has many stories about the people being served through our programs. One story in particular stuck out, about a woman who used to donate to the Food Bank for years. After the passing of her husband 10 years ago she eventually had to stop and now has to rely on donations from the Food Bank. It’s easy to take for granted an act as simple as getting a meal. For most of us we never question when we will eat or where we will get our food. We also forget about the many people who make up the faces of hunger. What comes to mind for many are children who are food insecure, but it’s also important to remember that seniors are among the most vulnerable and often the least remembered. Seniors who have worked hard their whole lives probably never imagined they would end up where they are today. I’m just glad the Regional Food Bank is there to provide them with food so that they have one less thing to worry about.