26

Jul

Big Truck Tacos Volunteer Night is tomorrow!


I took a minute to sit down and talk to the Big Truck Tacos owners about tomorrow’s Volunteer Night. Check out this clip, and join us tomorrow night!

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


06

Jul

$100,000 Walmart Grant Opportunity


The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is one of only five local nonprofit organizations that have been selected by Walmart to be a part of their Associates Choice Program in Oklahoma! With enough votes from our wonderful Walmart and Sam’s Club Associates, the Regional Food Bank could receive a generous $100,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation!

Associates at Walmart and Sam’s Club in Oklahoma will determine which organization receives the grant based upon their votes between July 9th and August 13th.  If you’re a Walmart or Sam’s Club employee, please check with your store manager on the voting process or simply go to http://mywalmart.com to vote!

And Food Bank supporters, if you know Walmart and Sam’s Club Associates, please let them know about the work we’re doing in the community to fight hunger and encourage them to vote!

No matter which nonprofit organization you vote for, it will help someone in our local community – so please be sure to vote!

An additional $100,000 for the Regional Food Bank would make a significant impact on the lives of Oklahomans who are struggling to put food on their table.  In fact, $100,000 will provide 700,000 meals to the community.  That’s enough for three meals a day for nearly 2,000 families of four for an entire month!

Jennifer Arlan

Jennifer Arlan

Jennifer Arlan is the Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. To book a tour of the Food Bank, contact Jennifer at 405-600-3155 or jarlan@regionalfoodbank.org.
Read more articles by Jennifer


17

Jun

$500,000 Inasmuch Grant Fights Hunger!


In an effort to help meet the increased demand for food, the Inasmuch Foundation presented the Food Bank with a generous $500,000 emergency assistance grant to help feed hungry Oklahomans.

Bob Ross, president and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation, said he hopes this grant will help create some stability for our most disadvantaged citizens. Since their first gift in December 1992, the Inasmuch Foundation has committed more than $2 million to the cause.

This grant couldn’t have come at a better time. We are distributing more food than any other time in the history of the org; we distributed more than three million pounds of food in April – which is a 29 percent increase over the same time a year ago.

Thank you so much to the Inasmuch Foundation for your continued commitment to fighting hunger in Oklahoma!

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


16

Jun

From The Intern’s Desk


I’ve just finished my first week at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma as the new Marketing Intern, and I have to admit my time so far has been a blur.  Besides the introductions and playing the name game with my new co-workers, my first day centered on orientation and familiarizing myself with the daily ins and outs of the organization.  Those unfamiliar with the Food Bank would likely assume the orientation was brief since many people imagine the Food Bank to be a tiny soup kitchen situated in a forgotten old building.  They would, however, be wrong; a tour of the Food Bank shows the immensity of the organization and its ability to serve thousands of Oklahomans facing hunger issues each day. By the end of a tour, one wonders how such an operation is run.  There’s an intricate network of people who work daily to keep the Food Bank running and most people don’t see it or even know it’s there. Early into my orientation one thing became clear:  despite all the different tasks that had to be completed day after day, everyone was insanely passionate about their job.

Most of the departments were unknown to me, but despite being unfamiliar to everything happening behind the scenes, I do have a history with the Food Bank.  It goes back to my teenage, pimply and awkward years – only just getting used to wearing contacts instead of my unfashionable glasses.  Most of those awkward years were spent with my nose crammed into books or sitting in classrooms for hours during the school day only to return again for another beating, absorbing as much information as possible for exams.  Yes, I spent most of my time nerding away as much as possible and to solidify my uncoolness, I joined the after school organization, Key Club.  Admittedly, I joined not only to be with my friends, but also because I lacked the coordination and enthusiasm required for the cheerleading squad.  On many weekends, instead of sleeping in or waking up to watch MTV, I drove myself to the Food Bank to volunteer for Key Club. My friends and I became very familiar with all the sights (skyscraper tall shelves filled with millions of pounds of food) and smells (to this day I can’t quite describe it) of the warehouse.  I remember we would compete to see who could pack the most food the quickest or build the tallest stack of food.  Perhaps they were infantile games, but they are part of my fondest memories of high school.

I volunteered here in the last year of high school and it’s odd that now, at the end of yet another milestone, the end of my college career, I find myself here yet again.  This can only confirm what is probably a silly belief I hold, that all things come in circles, we always end up in the same place where we began.  Not everything is the same, most of my friends are gone now, finding jobs, finding the perfect grad school, or just finding themselves. And now that I find myself here again I will hopefully create new memories, meeting new people and getting the chance to make the most of my experience at a place that does so much for everyone involved.  The Food Bank has changed a little. The programs have expanded as well as the building itself and although the volunteer center is bigger, it’s still the same place – an organization dedicated to fulfilling its mission and promise to the community.

- By Connnie Lam, Marketing Intern

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.
Read more articles by Connie


10

Jun

General Mills donates truckload of food


During the season finale of the television show The Biggest Loser, General Mills pledged that one can of Progresso Soup or one can of Green Giant vegetables will be donated to Feeding America, for every pound pledged to the Pound For Pound Challenge.  Nationwide, Food Banks will receive nearly 5.9 million cans of product.

Today, General Mills donated a truckload of Green Giant Sweet Peas and Cut Green Beans to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which will help provide 27,620 meals to hungry Oklahomans this summer!!

Additionally, for every pound pledged at pfpchallenge.com, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to Feeding America, who will then distribute the donations to Food Banks across the country, including the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. So far, Oklahomans have pledged to lose nearly 50,500 pounds in the Pound for Pound Challenge. The Pound For Pound Challenge, sponsored by The Biggest Loser, Feeding America, General Mills, Subway, 24 Hour Fitness and The Kroger Co., is designed to help deliver millions of pounds of groceries to local food banks across the U.S.

You can still pledge to lose weight until June 30, which in turn will raise donations for the Regional Food Bank.

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


09

Jun


Great story on Urban Harvest in the Oklahoman today! Check out the video featured on NewsOK:

Read the full story here!

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.
Read more articles by Bruce


In response to a call for donations by the 2010 Oklahoma Speaker’s Ball, Tyson Foods delivered more than 31,000 pounds of much-needed protein to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma today. The donation will provide 23,875 meals to the hungry in 53 central and western counties.

Since 2000, Tyson Foods has been a leader in the fight against hunger. The company is actively engaged in food-donation events and fund-raising activities to benefit those in need. The protein given by Tyson today brings the company’s total in-kind donations since 2000 to more than 75 million pounds. This milestone equates to more than 296 million meals donated to food banks and agencies serving local communities around the country. Last year alone, Tyson donated nearly eight million pounds of protein to Feeding America. For more information on Tyson’s fight against hunger, visit hungerrelief.tyson.com/.

This morning, the Food Bank’s Executive Director Rodney Bivens, Tyson Foods representative John Ward, and Oklahoma Speaker of the House Chris Benge came together for the arrival of Tyson truck.

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


29

Mar


The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is one of the few food banks in the nation that utilizes an aquaponic system. On Saturday, the Urban Harvest program offered class to teach the community how to build and maintain the system in their own backyard.  Aquaponics is a system of growing fish and edible plants in a closed, circulating system. It creates a bio-system in which fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.

The Regional Food Bank has been experimenting with two different aquaponics systems since 2006 and has had great results. The current system consists of a tank that can hold up to 800 tilapia, connected to two 50-feet-long floating grows beds that accommodate up to 800 plant units. Typically, lettuce grows to harvest size in five weeks in this system. The system can be smaller or larger, based on needs and goals.

Tilapia is the fish of choice for most growers as they grow from fingerling to 1.5 pounds in as little as nine months.  The leafy greens and herbs grow quickly, producing nutritious food faster than field growing.

The class, which was in such high demand that a waiting list was created, consisted of 30 students who worked to construct a “low-tech” aquaponic system that could be adapted to home or small business with a relatively small financial investment. The system will be used as the Urban Harvest nursery for baby tilapia.

More photos from the aquaponics class on Flickr!

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.
Read more articles by Bruce


22

Mar

ConAgra: Child hunger ends here


child

With nearly 1 in 4 children across the country struggling with hunger, our nation is in crisis. These children don’t have access to adequate nutrition to live healthy, active lives.

Support the Regional Food Bank, Feeding America and our partners at ConAgra Foods during the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign through the end of May.

Rally your neighborhood with a block party, bake sale, garage sale or picnic to raise awareness and dollars to support the Regional Food Bank and Feeding America in the fight against child hunger in your community.

After your event, make your donation online – all donations will stay in the local community.

ConAgra-promotion

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


Birthday cake has turned into my Achilles Heel. I was doing well by losing or maintaining my weight –  even progressing enough to go from plus size clothing to misses sizes. But alas, the birthday cake has derailed me. This week, it really isn’t looking good for me. Not one stinkin’ bit.

Needless to say, I was anxious about weigh in… so I went to the see what Bob Harper of The Biggest Loser had to say to see could find some words of wisdom. Here they are:

“Set realistic goals and stay positive. Achieving any goal takes time and patience, and always remember your over-arching goal: to lose weight, get in shape, and be the best person you can be.” – Bob Harper

I am happy with that. If I think it is hopeless it will be. A bad week doesn’t mean the end of a successful and fruitful journey – just a brief detour. The main point is, I started the trip and I know my final destination.  So all aboard! It isn’t too late to join the Pound for Pound Challengesign up today. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to your local food bank.

Updates:

Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are holding steady at 91 pounds lost!  Woo Hoo!!!

Oklahoma is still in 24th place, with Okies pledging to lose 60,095 pounds!  But gang – Tulsa is creeping up on us – we need to stay in the lead within our state!

- By Melanie Anthony, Grants Manager

“Healthified” Mediterranean-Style Chicken and Pasta

image001

From eatbetteramerica.com

Do-Ahead
Prepare the veggies and cook the chicken ahead of time; cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the recipe.

Prep Time:  25 min
Start to Finish:   25 min
Makes:  6 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

2 cups uncooked multigrain penne pasta (6 oz)
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1 small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups 3/4-inch pieces cooked chicken breast
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz) Muir Glen® organic tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
**If you want to reduce the cost of this recipe, sliced black olives can be substituted for the Kalamata.
3/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (3 oz)

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Return to Dutch oven; cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Add zucchini and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano and basil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and mixture is hot. Stir in olives.
3. Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Top with feta cheese; toss to coat.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 540mg; Total Carbohydrate 29g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 7g); Protein 23g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 10%; Iron 15%
Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 2 Lean Meat
Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


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