Response to COVID-19 as of April 6, 2020

Background

Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest hunger-relief nonprofit, serving 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank works with more than 1,300 community-based partner agencies to provide food assistance to chronically hungry children, seniors living on limited incomes and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet. Each week, the Regional Food Bank distributes 1 million pounds of food including fresh produce.

The Regional Food Bank is a food-delivery model food bank. Our service area covers 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma, a 48,000-square-mile region. Partner agencies access an online ordering system to order needed food and the Regional Food Bank delivers the orders based upon a pre-established delivery schedule.


April 6 4 p.m. update

Thanks to Paycom and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Western Heights Public Schools distributed 444 emergency food boxes to district families in a drive-thru delivery. Vehicles began forming a line along South Council Road around 9 a.m. for the noon distribution.

“The original plan was to distribute 300 emergency food boxes but when it became apparent that 300 wasn’t going to be enough, we were able to deliver 144 additional food boxes,” said Deb Buntin, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “We appreciate the support of Paycom and its employees, several of whom were on hand to help with the distribution.

“With children who participate in the free or reduced cost school meals plans out of school, households are feeling an additional strain. Add on to that possible job loss due to COVID-19 and the need is real,” Bunting said.

In addition to working with several school districts, the Regional Food Bank has nine Summer Feeding sites opening today including locations in Blackwell, Shawnee, Durant and several sites in the Oklahoma City metro. The Regional Food Bank worked with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expedite the application process in order to open these and future locations earlier than anticipated. The locations provide free weekday meals and snacks to any child up to 18 years of age. To view a directory of meal sites for children, visit Meals4KidsOK.org.

Anyone in need of food assistance should call 405-972-1111 during the weekday or visit rfbo.org/get-help to locate a nearby pantry.

Individuals whose income Impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for SNAP

Many individuals who have lost employment may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. For assistance with completing the online SNAP application or to answer questions, contact the Regional Food Bank’s SNAP outreach coordinator at 405-600-3168 or complete a assistance form here.


April 3 2 p.m. update

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is responding to the increasing number of Oklahomans in need of food assistance. Partner agencies are seeing nearly a 40% increase in the number of new households they are serving.

“We are now making deliveries on Saturdays as well as throughout the week,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “No community, regardless of size or location, is spared by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Retail food donations remain down compared to normal donations. As a result, the Regional Food Bank continues to purchase food to ensure it has enough in inventory to support the increased need among partner agencies as well as to create emergency food boxes.

The Regional Food Bank continues to work with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open more free meal sites for children up to age 18. The Regional Food Bank’s Kids Café at the Denny Price YMCA in Enid served 232 children on Thursday while the Kids Café at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Stillwater served more than 100 children. Sites and hours of operations are listed at Meals4KidsOK.org.

“We appreciate the assistance of our friends at the state and federal level who are helping expedite getting these meal sites open as quickly as possible,” Bunting said. “Households are feeling the strain of children not receiving meals at school, The more sites we can provide, the better for everyone.”


April 1 4:30 p.m. update

The Food & Resource Center (FRC) in Moore, a program of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, is now distributing emergency food boxes and other food products via a drive-thru model where boxed food and sacks of protein and dairy are placed into vehicles. Today, the FRC served 133 households that included 38 new families.

“That’s nearly a 30 percent increase in the number of new households,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “We expect to see more and more people seeking food assistance as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic deepens.”

The FRC typically serves residents living in south Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman but in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the location will serve anyone in need of food assistance. Visitors just need to have a photo ID. For the FRC’s operating hours and location, please click here.

Meal Sites for Children

The Regional Food Bank staff continues to work with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open more meal sites where any child up to age 18 can receive a free meal and snack on weekdays. Yesterday, 344 children were served. New sites are being added daily at Meals4KidsOK.org.

Partner Agencies Serving Residents in Need

Nearly 300 of the Regional Food Bank’s partner agencies continue to provide food assistance throughout the 53-county service area. People in need of food assistance should visit rfbo.org/get-help or call 405-972-1111. Please call pantries before visiting to confirm operating hours and any requirements.


March 31 4 p.m. update

Earlier today, three Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma semi-trucks delivered dozens of pallets of shelf-stable, kid-friendly food to the Oklahoma City Public Schools’ operations center. The food represents what would’ve been distributed in weekly backpacks to 3,000+ students in the district for the remainder of the school year.

“We were able to work with district officials to get this food to them so they can distribute it to the children who have depended upon every weekend,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank.

The school district has a team of volunteers that will help to pack the food for the students that will be distributed at one of its grab-and-go meal sites.

The COVID-19 pandemic not only forced the closure of the schools across the state, the Regional Food Bank had to close its volunteer opportunities to the public. Instead, staff is working to pack emergency food boxes for nearly 300 community-based partner agencies to distribute to the increasing number of Oklahomans facing hunger.

The Regional Food Bank is working with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open meal sites that any child from 1 to 18 years of age can receive a free meal and snack during the week. New sites are added daily at Meals4KidsOK.org.


March 30 4 p.m. update

Thanks to the employees at APMEX.com and several anonymous donors, the Regional Food Bank will now match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million.

“We are so grateful to APMEX.com and its employees as well as the other donors for their support as we provide food assistance to a growing number of Oklahomans,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “Every dollar donated is critical to helping us respond to this pandemic and get food into the hands of our neighbors who are now facing food insecurity.”

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Regional Food Bank distributed 4.2 million pounds of food a month. Of that, 2.4 million was donated from retailers and manufacturers, 1.4 million was USDA commodities and 420,000 was purchased food. As a result, the Regional Food Bank is purchasing the 2.4 million pounds of food for each month to replace what was previously donated. The projected all-in costs to meet the current need is $2.7 million per month which supports emergency food boxes for 60,000 households. If the need increases, as is expected, additional costs will be incurred.

To donate to the match, visit rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3262. Donations made by texting DISASTER to 501-501 will also be matched. The text to give is an automatic $10 donation. Data and text rates may apply.


March 30 10 a.m. update

The vast majority of the Regional Food Bank’s community-based partner agencies remain open and serving an increasing number of Oklahomans needing food assistance.

“We are happy to see so many of our partners continue to find innovative and collaborative ways to distribute food while practicing social distancing guidelines,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “Our partners continue to report a steady increase in the number of people they are serving and that is evident by the large orders we are processing. The need is real and will only grow in the months ahead.”

The Regional Food Bank’s own Food & Resource Center in Moore will begin a drive-thru distribution model effective Monday, March 30. This model provides further safeguards not only for the people they are serving but also for staff and volunteers. The Food & Resource Center in Moore has temporarily lifted restrictions of serving only households in certain zip codes.

“That site is serving anyone in need of food assistance, they just need to have a photo ID,” Bunting said.

The Food & Resource Center is located at 2635 N. Shields Blvd. in Moore. For hours of operations, click here.


March 27 11 a.m. update

Truckloads of purchased food have started rolling into the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s warehouses over the last few days.

“We are really happy to see this food getting delivered so quickly, we’d anticipated it might take longer,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “The dramatic rise in consumer demand has impacted the supply chain for us and the food industry overall.”

The Regional Food Bank has had to purchase significantly more food than it typically does as a majority of its inventory is donated by retailers and food manufacturers. These food donations have been nonexistent over the last few weeks due to the high consumer demand as households prepared for a quarantine.

“Our budget has taken quite a hit since the pandemic reached our state,” Bunting said. “People ask us how they can help and the best answer is to support us with financial donations.”

To make a donation, visit rfbo.org/give or text DISASTER to 501-501 to make a $10 donation (data and text rates may apply).

Staff Works to Pack Emergency Food Boxes

A team of Volunteer Center staff members are spending each day packing emergency food boxes. On Thursday, they packed a total of 585 boxes which is about a third of what public volunteers would pack on a typical day. Regional Food Bank staff members are also serving as volunteers at the Food & Resource Center in Moore (FRC). Clients visiting the FRC are also receiving emergency food boxes as well as dairy and protein products and fresh produce.

FRC Now Serving Anyone in Need of Food Assistance

The FRC normally serves residents who are food insecure and live in south Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FRC is now serving anyone in need of food assistance. Guests are asked to bring a photo ID. On Thursday, the FRC served 66 families and nearly 20 of those households were new clients. For hours of operations, visit moorefrc.org.

Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Postponed

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has postponed the annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The national food drive was scheduled for Saturday, May 9. A new date has not yet been scheduled.

Statement from the NALC:

NALC and our national partners recognize that food assistance is a critical need for many during this difficult time, and we remain committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve across America. We look forward to once again holding the largest one-day food drive in America when it is safe to do so.

The Regional Food Bank worked with local NALC officials to coordinate food drives and the distribution of collected food within its 53-county service area. In 2019, nearly 600,000 pounds of shelf-stable food was collected to benefit the Regional Food Bank and its partner agencies.

“We certainly understand and support the NALC’s decision,” Bunting said. “We are hopeful that the drive can still happen sometime this year as it has been a great source of food for our network.”


March 26 10:30 a.m. update

Anyone in need of food assistance in central and western Oklahoma is encouraged to visit rfbo.org/get-help to locate a nearby food pantry or call 405-972-1111 during workday hours.

“We know that several of our partner agencies are unable to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are updating our online directory daily to reflect those closures,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “The good news is we have nearly 300 of our partner agencies who are continuing to serve.”

SNAP Assistance

The Regional Food Bank also encourages households who have lost income due to COVID-19 business closures to apply for SNAP benefits. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, provides monthly financial assistance to purchase groceries. The Regional Food Bank has staff on-hand to assist with the application process. To learn more, click here or call 405-600-3168.

Mobile Distribution in Dewey County

The Regional Food Bank distributed emergency food boxes and fresh produce to 31 households, including nine senior citizen residents, at the Taloga Senior Center in Dewey County on March 25. Some individuals served informed staff they had lost jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food & Resource Center in Moore

The Food & Resource Center in Moore continues to serve residents in south Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman. On Wednesday, March 25, the location served 120 households. In place of client-choice shopping, individuals are provided an emergency food box containing shelf-stable foods as well as dairy, protein and fresh produce. Visit moorefrc.org for more information.

Text to Give Option Available

Anyone interested in supporting the Regional Food Bank’s response to the growing need for food assistance due to COVID-19, can text DISASTER to 501501 and make an automatic $10 donation (data and text rates may apply). Every dollar donated up to $775,000 will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to several anonymous donors. Donations can also be made at rfbo.org/give or by calling 405-600-3136.


March 25 10:30 a.m. update

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma remains open and is working with nearly 300 community-based partner agencies who also remain open to serve the growing number of Oklahomans in need of food assistance. Both the Regional Food Bank and its partner food pantries are considered part of the essential critical infrastructure workers by Homeland Security and the state of Oklahoma and remain operating when non-essential businesses are forced to close.

The Regional Food Bank will soon begin receiving truckloads of food it has purchased to supplement its inventory that agencies order from.

“We expect to see deliveries to our warehouse later this week and that is really great news,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “With our retail food donations nearly flat due to high consumer demand, we are spending twice as much as we typically do to ensure we have the quantity and quality of food to distribute.”

This morning, Meals on Wheels OKC began distributing 875 Regional Food Bank emergency food boxes to low-income homebound seniors they serve. On Wednesday, the Regional Food Bank will deliver the first 35 emergency food boxes to Positive Tomorrows to provide to their students’ families, an activity that will occur every two weeks for the next several months. The emergency food boxes contain about 30 pounds of shelf-stable foods such as canned vegetables and soups, canned meats and sauces, pasta and juice.

“During a crisis such as this, the Regional Food Bank works to ensure that our most vulnerable populations like seniors and children receive the nutritious food they need,” Bunting said.

Text to Give Option Available

Anyone interested in supporting the Regional Food Bank’s response to the growing need for food assistance due to COVID-19, can text DISASTER to 501501 and make an automatic $10 donation (data and text rates may apply). Every dollar donated up to $775,000 will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to several anonymous donors. Donations can also be made at rfbo.org/give or by calling 405-600-3136.


March 24 4:30 p.m. update

In an abundance of caution and in compliance with orders from state and local officials, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will close its volunteer opportunities to the public, effective Wednesday, March 25, until further notice. 

“We appreciate the leadership of both Gov. Stitt and Mayor Holt on taking measures to keep at-risk populations as safe as possible while still allowing us to serve the one in six Oklahomans facing hunger as well as those impacted by the shutdowns,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “We thank everyone who has volunteered since the COVID-19 pandemic reached our state and want to assure all that the safety of volunteers, staff and the fellow Oklahomans we serve is a top priority.”

In place of volunteers, the Regional Food Bank staff will work shifts to continue to prepare emergency food boxes to be distributed to community-based partner agencies in central and western Oklahoma. The staff will continue to operate under the new volunteer model that adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines. The Regional Food Bank continues to operate in Disaster Response mode as it works to provide food assistance to Oklahomans who are food insecure and the increasing number of Oklahomans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is the very mission of the Regional Food Bank to provide food assistance where needed in our service area and that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Bunting said. “Challenging times such as these require us to be innovative and make the most of our resources and that’s what we are doing.”

The Regional Food Bank’s partner agencies report a nearly 25% increase in the number of people they are serving this week. The Food & Resource Center in Moore served 130 households on Monday and more than 30 families were visiting for the first time. 

“We can’t thank our partner agencies enough for serving on the frontlines to fight hunger each and every day and now helping to meet the additional need as a result of the COVID-19 impact,” Bunting said. “Our work would truly not be possible without these valued partners.”

Anyone in need of food assistance should visit rfbo.org/get-help to find a pantry closest to their home. It is recommended to first call the pantry to confirm hours of operations and if any restrictions are in place. They can also call the Regional Food Bank at 405-972-1111 during workdays.


March 24 12:30 p.m. update

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s partner agencies report nearly a 25% increase in the number of people they are serving this week. The Food & Resource Center in Moore served 130 households on Monday and more than 30 families were visiting for the first time.

Food Pantry Directory

For anyone in need of food assistance, the Regional Food Bank encourages them to visit rfbo.org/get-help. The web page offers a pantry finder option where the visitor enters their zip code and it will list nearby pantries. Visitors are encouraged to first call the pantry to confirm hours of operation and any possible restrictions. Persons in need of food assistance can also call the Regional Food Bank at 405-972-1111 during workday hours.

$775,000 Match Opportunity to Support COVID-19 Response

Thanks to several anonymous donors have agreed to match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $775,000. Donations to the match can be made at rfbo.org/give or by calling 405-600-3136.

“Funding from both the private sector and government support is crucial to ensuring the Regional Food Bank meets the food assistance needs of our fellow Oklahomans,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “We’ve had wonderful and generous donations but we’ll need more.”

In response for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s primary food distribution will be emergency food boxes at this time. As retail food donations have declined significantly due to high consumer demand, the Regional Food Bank must now purchase the products for the emergency food boxes. The projected all-in costs to meet the current need is $2.7 million per month which supports emergency food boxes for 60,000 households. If the need increases, as is expected, additional costs will be incurred.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Regional Food Bank distributed 4.2 million pounds of food a month. Of that, 2.4 million was donated from retailers and manufacturers, 1.4 million was USDA commodities and 420,000 was purchased food. With the high consumer demand in recent weeks, food donations have greatly reduced with no immediate recovery in sight. As a result, the Regional Food Bank is now forced to purchase the 2.4 million pounds of food that was previously donated.

“We are the first responders for Oklahomans in need of food assistance,” Bunting said. “We know that we live in a state full of kind, generous people who we hope will answer our call for additional donations and participate in this match opportunity.”


March 23 Noon update

Since last Thursday, thanks to a dedicated group of staff and volunteers, the Regional Food Bank has packed more than 7,500 emergency food boxes. The volunteers worked in staggered shifts of no more than nine in each shift. 

“We are so appreciative of volunteers and our own staff who put in the hard work these last few days,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “Our work continues so please consider signing up for a volunteer shift this week.”

The Regional Food Bank continues to distribute food to its community-based partner agencies across the 53 counties it serves in central and western Oklahoma. Some smaller food pantries are unable to serve individuals at this time. If you are in need of food assistance or know someone who is, please visit rfbo.org/get-help and enter your zip code to find a food pantry near you. Please call the pantry prior to visiting to confirm hours of distribution and any restrictions they may have in place.

Thanks to several anonymous donors, the Regional Food Bank has a match opportunity so that all donations will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $275,000.

“Because our retail food donations are down due to higher consumer demand, we are purchasing more food than usual so financial support is crucial,” Bunting said. 

To make a financial donation, visit rfbo.org/give


March 21 Noon update

Paycom founder and CEO Chad Richison donated $2 million to help the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma respond to impact of COVID-19. The donation will help us prepare nearly 45,000 emergency food boxes for Okahomans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are facing hunger.

“I am passionate about this state and want to help ensure Oklahomans who are or may soon be struggling due to the coronavirus don’t have to worry about food,” said Paycom’s founder and CEO, Chad Richison. “If needed, I will give more to feed Oklahomans during this time of crisis. We are all in this together, and together we will get through this.”

The Regional Food Bank is assembling emergency food boxes to be distributed to the growing number of households in need of food assistance. The emergency food boxes contain about 30 pounds of shelf-stable food including canned vegetables, soups and meats, cereal, juices and pasta. The donation from Richison will support the creation of nearly 45,000 emergency food boxes.

OnCue has donated more than $30,000 of shelf-stable food and personal care items to the Regional Food Bank and several of its partner agencies including Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center in Stillwater.

"One of OnCue's core values is being a good neighbor in the communities where we live and work,” said Scott Minton, OnCue director of business development.

While the organization still has access to food suppliers, retail donations have recently slowed due to high consumer demand, creating a critical need for funding during this crisis.

To assist with the ongoing need for additional funding, two anonymous donors have agreed to match, dollar for dollar, donations to the Regional Food Bank up to $275,000. To participate in the match opportunity, visit rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3136.

“We are so grateful for the support we’re receiving from individuals like Chad and companies like OnCue,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “It’s going to take continued support to ensure the Regional Food Bank continues to meet the increased need for food assistance.”


March 20 11 a.m. update

Food pantries are experiencing record-breaking requests for food assistance throughout central and western Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s modified volunteer model is ensuring that these agencies have the food they need to respond to the increased number of people they are serving.

“Our partner agencies are telling us that the best way we can help them is to keep the food coming and the only way we can do that is to have financial support so we can purchase more food and to have more volunteers to help pack that food,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO, Regional Food Bank.

Over the past week, there has been a steep decline in retail food donations based upon the influx of people stockpiling in preparation for self-quarantine.

“Grocery stores can’t donate food if their shelves are empty,” Bunting said. “To keep up with the demand for food assistance, we are purchasing more food than we typically do.”

On Thursday, the Regional Food Bank reopened its volunteer opportunities with a modified process that adheres to the social distancing guidelines. The volunteers are packing emergency food boxes to be distributed throughout central and western Oklahoma. One volunteer remarked on the protocols and measures in place that focus on social distancing and ongoing sanitizing that allows volunteers to still help.

“Oklahomans always go above and beyond during times of need and I know this pandemic will be no different,” the volunteer shared on Facebook. “If your classes are online or you’re working from home or you have a few hours to spare, then they desperately need your help packing boxes.”

To volunteer, please visit rfbo.org/volunteer. Volunteers can be as young as eight years old. Anyone exhibiting a fever, cough or shortness of breath or are 60 years or older we ask to please not register to volunteer.

To make a financial donation to help fight hunger and the Regional Food Bank’s response to COVID-19, visit rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3136.


March 19 10:30 a.m. update

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is witnessing an increase in the number of people seeking food assistance. On Wednesday, the Food & Resource Center in Moore served 33 new households, nearly three times the typical number of new clients in a day.

“We’re starting to see the harsh reality from the closure of businesses and schools,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “The Oklahomans we already serve will fall deeper into food insecurity while households living paycheck to paycheck are now seeking food assistance as well.”

To help the Regional Food Bank meet this growing need, individuals can donate their time and make financial donations. Volunteer shifts at the Volunteer Center and the Food & Resource Center in Moore have been modified to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. Additional precautions will occur before, during and after each volunteer shift. Volunteers are packing emergency food boxes containing shelf-stable food items. To schedule a shift, visit rfbo.org/volunteer.

Individuals and organizations wishing to make a donation to assist with the Regional Food Bank’s response to the COVID-19 virus and help fight hunger, please donate at rfbo.org/give.

Anyone in need of food assistance should visit rfbo.org/get-help or call 405-972-1111.


march 18 3:30 p.m. update

Effective March 18, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is now operating in a Disaster Response mode as it works to provide food assistance to a growing number of people impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. All projects not related to the nonprofit’s response efforts to the COVID-19 outbreak will be suspended until further notice. In this mode of operation, the Regional Food Bank staff may be asked to work alternate schedules and perform tasks outside of their normal responsibilities.

The Regional Food Bank is seeking volunteers to help pack emergency food boxes. Because of the very nature of the work we do, the Regional Food Bank follows strict state and federal safety regulations. In addition, the staff has created a volunteer model that follows social distancing guidelines that will allow small groups of volunteers – no more than nine in a group – to help pack the emergency boxes. Opportunities are available at both the main Volunteer Center and at the Food & Resource Center in Moore. We ask that anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, coughing and shortness of breath) and individuals 60 and older not to volunteer. Additional precautions will occur before, during and after each volunteer shift. To schedule a shift, visit rfbo.org/volunteer.

Anyone in need of food assistance is encouraged to visit rfbo.org/get-help or call 405-972-1111 to find a food pantry nearest to them.


march 17 Evening update

With school closures and employment disruptions in Oklahoma, there is an increased need for food assistance. In order to meet that growing need, the Regional Food Bank staff has created a volunteer model that follows social distancing guidelines to the safest extent possible. Shifts will have staggered start times and each volunteer group will include no more than 10 individuals. These emergency response volunteer shifts will begin on Thursday, March 19 at both the Volunteer Center and at the Moore Food & Resource Center. Weekend shifts are also available.

Volunteers must not have a chronic illness such as diabetes, lung disease or heart disease and cannot be older than 59 years of age. Also, volunteers should not have any possible COVID-19 symptoms including a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Additional safety precautions will occur prior, during and after each shift.

Please visit rfbo.org/volunteer to register for the emergency response volunteer shifts.


march 17 Morning update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Food Bank is using innovative methods to meet all food assistance needs while also adhering to safe social distancing. Due to mandated statewide school closures and overall employment disruption, the Regional Food Bank anticipates and is preparing for an increase in the number of people needing food assistance.

The Regional Food Bank encourages anyone needing food assistance to visit the Get Help page here to find an agency nearby or call their offices at 405-972-1111.

The Regional Food Bank is in daily communications with the more than 300 community-based partner agencies to monitor their response and needs. On March 16, the Regional Food Bank’s Moore Food & Resource Center implemented a new system that limits the number of shoppers in the facility at any given time. Shoppers are given a box of shelf-stable food and allowed to shop for perishables such as meats, dairy and produce.

In addition, partner agencies are offering grab-and-go models where people can come inside the agency to pick up emergency boxes of shelf-stable food while others are allowing individuals to stay in their vehicles while agency staff place an emergency food box in each vehicle.

On Monday, the Oklahoma State Department of Education mandated statewide school closures until April 6. To determine how best to feed students during this extended closure, the Regional Food Bank is working closely with schools, the state and other food assistance partners. At this time there are a limited number of Kids Cafés open during the week of March 16. Click here to find the list of participating sites. More information to come as available.

The Regional Food Bank cancelled all large volunteer shifts for the week of March 16. Our staff is working to create volunteer models that follow social distancing guidelines while helping to meet the need for emergency food boxes. The Regional Food Bank is hopeful that in the near future it can provide an environment that is safe for a limited number of volunteers. 

Individuals and organizations wishing to make a donation to assist the Regional Food Bank’s response to the COVID-19 virus and help fight hunger overall, please donate at rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3136. 


march 16 update

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is working to ensure families have access to the food they need while also taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We are committed first and foremost to the health and safety the Oklahomans we serve, our volunteers and staff.

We are ready to meet the evolving needs of all Oklahomans impacted by this crisis, but we can't do it without your support.

Below are several important ways you can support those at greatest risk in this worsening crisis and help those facing food insecurity in our communities.

  • Donate to support our response to COVID-19. Financial contributions go much further than food donations in moments like these. Make a donation by clicking here.
  • Spread the word that food remains available to anyone facing challenges at this time. We’re working with local food assistance partners throughout our network to ensure people have access to the resources they need. To find food assistance in your area, visit /get-help - please call before visiting to ensure agencies are open.

With your continued support, we know that we can meet this challenge head-on.


March 13 update

  • Based upon the very nature of the work we do, the Regional Food Bank follows rigid federal and state food safety regulations each and every day. The Regional Food Bank understands there are growing fears about the impact of COVID-19 virus in central and western Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is on the frontline in response to emergency and disaster events. Our staff is in daily communications with Feeding America, FEMA, Centers for Disease and Prevention and other relevant local, state and federal agencies.
  • As of March 13, the Regional Food Bank is continuing its distribution to community-based partners in the 53-county service area. The operations team is in communications with other disaster-response organizations to create food distribution contingency plans in case there is a need.
  • The Regional Food Bank has cancelled all volunteer shifts for the week of March 16 in an abundance of caution for the safety of volunteers and staff. Last year, nearly 45,000 unduplicated individuals volunteered with the Regional Food Bank, saving the nonprofit $4.2 million in labor costs. Future cancellations will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis.
  • The Regional Food Bank is in communication with its partner agencies to monitor any potential impacts on their activities and to also to encourage stringent hygiene standards to protect not only clients they are serving but their own staff and volunteers as well.
  • The Regional Food Bank has cancelled all events scheduled in March including Chefs’ Feast which was to be held on March 26. The cancellation of future scheduled events will be evaluated as needed.