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Cherokee Nation Pledges $50,000 to Support Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Contribution helps Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma provide 250,000 meals

June 19, 2013

CATOOSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation and its businesses are helping the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma get food to those affected by the recent May tornadoes. Tribal officials presented a check for $50,000 to support the organization’s statewide disaster relief efforts.

“Those of us in the Cherokee Nation may have watched the devastation of the May tornadoes from afar, but we still felt it deep in our hearts,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Our Oklahoma neighbors lost so much last month, most of which cannot be replaced. It is our hope that this contribution will help ease any worries these families have about the basics, like where their next meal is coming from. The Cherokee Nation is honored to support an organization that is doing so much to help our fellow Oklahomans get back on their feet and move forward.”

Every $1 contributed to the Regional Food Bank provides five equivalent meals to hungry Oklahomans. That means Cherokee Nation’s $50,000 will provide 250,000 meals to tornado victims across central Oklahoma.

“In addition to serving the hungry in 53 central and western counties, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will continue to assist Oklahomans with both short and long term disaster relief efforts,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “We want to thank the Cherokee Nation for stepping up to help our Oklahoma neighbors who have been impacted by the recent disasters.”

The Regional Food Bank is coordinating efforts to provide food, water, and other supplies for Oklahomans who were impacted by the devastating tornadoes and flooding in May. 

The Regional Food Bank opened a Disaster Distribution Center in Moore, located at 2635 North Shields, to assist Oklahomans who were affected by the E5 tornado on May 20.  The Distribution Center is a client choice pantry where families can shop for what they need in a grocery-store setting.  The Center is serving up to 200 families a day, Monday through Saturday. 

Cherokee Nation is the largest tribal nation in the United States and one of the largest employers in northeast Oklahoma. The tribe owns a variety of businesses ranging from manufacturing to hospitality.

“Our companies and employees are committed to helping our neighbors,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We hope to give those affected by the recent tornadoes a hand up to help them get on their feet and help keep Oklahoma strong.”

The tribe has already assisted tornado victims in other ways. More than a dozen employees were recently mobilized to assist with logistics and management support inside an Oklahoma State Emergency Management warehouse serving the Moore area.

Cherokee Nation also delivered essential supplies as part of a community drive and donated 17,280 bottles of water and 4,320 bottles of Gatorade to those affected by the Shawnee area tornado.

For more information about the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and how to support its relief efforts, please visit www.regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.604.7111.

About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the federally recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by treaty and law. The seat of tribal government is the W.W. Keeler Complex near Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation. With more than 318,000 citizens, over 8,900 employees and a variety of tribal enterprises ranging from aerospace and defense contracts to entertainment venues, Cherokee Nation is one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma and the largest tribal nation in the United States.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest hunger relief organization. The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,000 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 480 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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