(OKLAHOMA CITY) – May 22, 2020 - As the need for food assistance hit unprecedented levels in April amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributed a record 6.2 million pounds of food. On average, the organization distributes 4.7 million pounds per month.
"We are very proud of our network of partner agencies in central and western Oklahoma that have stepped up to find innovative ways to serve their neighbors in need of food assistance," said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. "As the state begins to reopen, we anticipate the need for food assistance to remain at high levels due to the economic toll caused by the pandemic."
Nearly 300 community-based partner agencies of the Regional Food Bank remain open and providing food assistance in central and western Oklahoma. Agencies have reported 25 to 50 percent increases in new households served during the pandemic.
Agencies have moved to a drive-thru distribution model to ensure the safety of volunteers and the individuals being served. The Regional Food Bank has partnered with EMBARK, the Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City and Bonnie's Helping Hands to deliver emergency food boxes to homebound seniors.
"Partnerships and innovation are integral to our mission of providing meals to an increased number of our neighbors impacted by COVID-19 and living with food insecurity in Oklahoma," said Bunting.
The country’s food supply chain is still impacted by the high consumer demand and food donations have yet to recover. As a result, the Regional Food Bank continues to purchase a large amount of food products needed to keep food flowing to the organization's partner agencies. To make a financial donation, visit rfbo.org/give or by calling 405-972-1111.
If you are in need of food assistance, visit rfbo.org/get-help and enter a zip code to find the Regional Food Bank partner nearest you or call 405-972-1111.