(Shawnee, Okla.) – June 29, 2016 – Yesterday, the Community Market of Pottawatomie County Food & Resource Center celebrated its grand opening.
This nonprofit will serve Pottawatomie County residents who have inconsistent access to food.
"I think one of the greatest things about the Food & Resource center concept is that it creates incredible conversations and collaborations across church lines and across business lines,” said Daniel Matthews, executive director of the Community Market of Pottawatomie County Food & Resource Center. “The end result is an organization made up of businesses, faith-based, and nonprofits all working hand-in-hand to provide greater access to nutritious food for people in Pottawatomie County who struggle with hunger. We are grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts to open this amazing facility and we hope you will continue to be a part of our future.”
The client choice food pantry allows clients to choose the foods they want so that they take only what they need – making more efficient use of food resources. The center also stocks a variety of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and will connect clients with other social services in the community, such as healthy cooking classes.
The Community Market has expanded hours of operation to better serve hungry residents in a grocery-store-like setting. Hours of operation are Monday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In Pottawatomie County, 16.6 percent of residents have inconsistent access to food. Last year, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributed enough food to provide more than 1 million meals for Pottawatomie residents struggling with hunger; however, it was not enough. The Community Market is vital to Pottawatomie County, where the need for food and resources continues to grow.
According to AARP’s Oklahoma Hunger Survey, nearly half (47 percent) of adults in Pottawatomie County has someone in their household who has struggled with hunger, and two thirds (66 percent) say someone close to them had inconsistent access to food. Additionally, 57 percent of adults in Pottawatomie County believe the number of families struggling with hunger in their community has increased since 2012.
“We served our first client today,” shared Daniel Matthews, executive director of the Community Market of Pottawatomie County. “She came by and, even though we weren’t open for business yet, our staff rallied and got food for her. She was a grandmother who was facing life-changing surgery tomorrow and she wanted to make sure her grandchildren had enough food to eat at home while she was in the hospital. She couldn’t stop thanking us for helping her family.”
The Community Market is also in need of volunteers to help sort donations, assist clients, and more. To make a donation to Community Market, learn more about volunteering or for additional information, contact Daniel Matthews at Ourcommunitymarketpottco@gmail.com or visit ourcommunitymarket.org.
Donors to the Community Market include: The Avedis Foundation, AARP, Cleo Craig Foundation, Junior Service League of Shawnee, OG&E, United Way and Walton Foundation. Because of the generous support of the Inasmuch Foundation, the Regional Food Bank is able to invest in Food & Resource Centers in Shawnee and across central and western Oklahoma. Community supporters include: Family of Faith Church, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Mission Shawnee, Oklahoma State University Extension, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Salvation Army.
Once established, Food & Resource Centers, like the Community Market, are designed to be self-supporting. The Regional Food Bank continues to support the centers with ongoing training, capacity building, and priority access to food and equipment grants, as well as guidance on fundraising, marketing and volunteer management.
Currently, five Food & Resource Centers are fully operational in the Oklahoma City metro area and five are operating outside of the metro in Durant, Enid, Lawton, Elk City and now, Shawnee. Additional Food & Resource Centers are planned throughout the Regional Food Bank’s 53 county service area based upon need and community support. Food & Resource Centers are built to fit the needs, look and feel of the community where they are located.
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 116,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,250 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed nearly 600 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.
About Avedis Foundation
Avedis Foundation is a private foundation with 501(c)3, nonprofit status, established in June, 2012 from the sale of Unity Health Center to St Anthony Hospital. With assets in excess of $100 million, Avedis Foundation is one of Oklahoma’s larger foundations, established to invest in the county through grants that support projects and benefit nonprofit organizations within the foundation’s granting area. The name “Avedis” means “one who brings glad tidings,” or “the bearer of good news,” a significance intrinsic to the foundation's mission, “to measurably improve the health, wellness and quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and its surrounding communities.” To underscore the relevance of the name and the foundation’s role as a benefactor to the community, Avedis Foundation can also be recognized by its signature statement, “We’re here for good.” Avedis Foundation is located at 3903 North Harrison in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Learn more about Avedis Foundation at www.avedisfoundation.org.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 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. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org/ok.