$19,608 Grant from The Walt Disney Company and Feeding America

Promotes Fresh Produce Distribution

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – March 3, 2017– The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma continues to work at improving health outcomes for low-income Oklahomans.  Recently, three of the nonprofit’s partner agencies in Oklahoma City received capacity-building equipment to better serve local residents with inconsistent access to food.  As part of the grant, the Islamic Society, Light and Salvation and St. James St. Vincent de Paul each received a reach-in cooler to improve distribution of fresh produce to clients.  Light and Salvation also received a work table, three compartment sink, mixing faucet and waste valve.

“For many Oklahomans struggling with hunger, eating healthy is not about not knowing what foods to choose; it is often about not being able to afford or having access to more healthful choices,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “That’s why the grant from The Walt Disney Company and Feeding America is so important.  This grant helps our partner agencies to have the resources to stock more produce for clients and also improve the distribution to our neighbors with inconsistent access to food.”

Oklahoma ranks among the 10 worst states for many key health indicators, including cardiovascular and diabetes deaths.  The Regional Food Bank places a priority on increasing the volume of fresh fruits and vegetables it distributes to its partner agencies in central and western Oklahoma. More than 12.7 million pounds of produce were distributed in fiscal year 2016, which represented 24 percent of the Regional Food Bank’s total distribution.  In addition to serving fresh produce through its partner agencies, the Regional Food Bank also provides:

  • Fresh Food Mobile Markets.  These markets provide fresh produce in under-served areas and food deserts once per month in eight locations. Each Fresh Food Mobile Market provides clients an average of 25 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Healthy Living Pantry Boxes. Pantry boxes developed with food specially selected to meet the needs of clients living with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The Healthy Living Pantry Boxes are distributed by “prescription” from healthcare professionals.
  • Nutrition Education.  The Regional Food Bank provides nutrition education, cooking demonstrations and healthy recipes through a full-time resident AmeriCorps member whose primary focus is nutrition education.
  • Seeds of Hope.  Seeds of Hope provides packets of fruit and vegetable seeds to food pantry clients. These seeds allow limited resource clients to grow fresh, healthy produce in their home gardens.

The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes, and working families who cannot make ends meet. 

This spring, Oklahomans can double the impact of their gifts to help feed even more seniors struggling with hunger.  Through April 30, The Charles and Cassandra Bowen Charitable Foundation and Okie Express Auto Wash and its customers have teamed up to match donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Senior Feeding Programs – up to $125,000.  To make a donation visit feedokseniors.org or call 405-600-3136. 

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed 52 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks.  The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 126,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 587 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.  For more information, visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/regionalfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rfbo.

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