(OKLAHOMA CITY) – March 12, 2020 - In an abundance of caution regarding the potential impact of COVID-19 virus, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is cancelling all large volunteer shifts at its main Volunteer Center facility, effective March 15, until further notice. In addition, the organization is cancelling all events scheduled for March including its annual Chefs’ Feast that was scheduled for March 26.
“The well-being and safety of volunteers, supporters, partner agencies, our staff and the Oklahomans we serve is our utmost concern,” says Deb Bunting, interim chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Their efforts enable us to serve the one in six Oklahomans who are food insecure.”
Based upon the very nature of the Regional Food Bank’s work, the nonprofit follows rigid federal and state food safety regulations each and every day. The Regional Food Bank is taking all possible precautions in the event the virus begins to widely impact the 53 counties it serves in central and western Oklahoma.
In what would have been the 33rd consecutive Chefs’ Feast, guests would’ve enjoyed food prepared by Oklahoma chefs, participated in a raffle and silent auction, with all proceeds going to support the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids Programs.
“Each year, Chefs’ Feast helps us raise much needed funds for the one in four Oklahoma children who live with hunger,” Bunting says. “With the potential impact of COVID-19, we were concerned with hosting an event for nearly 800 guests.”
For guests seeking a refund, please contact Natalie Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org. If guests are not seeking a refund, 100 percent of the costs for tickets will be applied as a fully tax-deductible donation toward the Food for Kids Programs.
The Regional Food Bank staff is in daily communications with the appropriate local, state and federal health agencies and will continue to evaluate the organization’s day-to-day operations.