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AARP Donates $80,000 to Regional Food Bank for Tornado Victims

August 15, 2013

MOORE, Okla. – AARP Oklahoma today announced its seventh grant to help Oklahoma tornado victims – an $80,000 donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide long-term support to those impacted.

The announcement was made at the Regional Food Bank’s Disaster Relief Distribution Center in Moore. To date, more than 7,100 food distributions have been made at the site and more than 3,600 households have been served.

“AARP is committed to helping those in need,” said AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl. “We have worked closely with the Regional Food Bank on our Drive to End Hunger initiative and have seen firsthand the positive way it helps Oklahomans in need. The Regional Food Bank’s initial response to these devastating tornadoes, as well as its commitment to long-term recovery, will help thousands of Oklahomans. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by these storms.”

Regional Food Bank Executive Director Rodney Bivens said the Regional Food Bank is providing food, household products and disaster relief supplies to individuals impacted by the tornadoes in Moore, Shawnee, Carney, El Reno and Little Axe. The Regional Food Bank served 45 disaster-relief agencies throughout the five counties impacted by the storms, provided more than 1.3 million meals to tornado victims and distributed more than 1.6 million pounds of food and supplies.

“It’s difficult to describe the devastation so many Oklahomans experienced as a result of the violent tornadoes and subsequent flooding this spring,” he said. “We are humbled by this donation from AARP and its members nationwide. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank AARP for its continued support.”

Within hours of the May storms, AARP Foundation established an Oklahoma relief fund to support victims. AARP and AARP Foundation matched dollar-for-dollar contributions up to $300,000 resulting in a total of $674,000 raised from more than 6,000 people, Voskuhl said. All organizations receiving grants have signed a letter of agreement and submitted a plan detailing how they will use funding to help storm victims. In addition, grantees have committed that 100 percent of funds will be used for direct assistance in Oklahoma and no portion will be used for administrative costs. Each organization will send a final report to AARP detailing the full expenditure of its grant money.

AARP previously announced grants to: the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; Legal Aid Service of Oklahoma; the Oklahoma City Community Foundation; United Way of Pottawatomie County; Rebuilding Together OKC and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.

The association continues to participate in long-term recovery committee meetings in Pottawatomie and Oklahoma/Cleveland counties and will announce additional local grants to help tornado victims over the next several weeks.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and AARP announced an agreement that will expand outreach around emergency preparedness for millions of older Americans. FEMA and AARP will work together to provide resources and services for older Americans with respect to disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations in the event of natural, man-made or technological disasters.

This agreement strengthens the shared responsibility approach to emergency management and will improve access to information to help individuals; families and communities stay safe before, during and after an emergency or disaster. This is an opportunity for FEMA and AARP to collaborate on emergency preparedness communications including social media outreach, training and exercise and evaluation opportunities that will raise awareness and help individuals to take the necessary steps to be prepared for emergencies, Voskuhl said.

For more information visit AARP’s website. 

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information on AARP Oklahoma visit: www.aarp.org/ok 

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 1,100 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 490 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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