Hunger is Closer Than You Think

One in Six Oklahomans Has Inconsistent Access to Food

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – Aug. 4, 2016 – According to the Oklahoma Food Banks, Oklahoma is consistently one of the hungriest states in the nation. In fact, one in six Oklahomans has inconsistent access to food.

“The face of hunger is closer than we think,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank.  “Oklahomans turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. Many of our neighbors seeking food assistance have jobs, raise families and want to stand on their own two feet, just like the rest of us. Too often, they are forced to make difficult decisions in order to keep food on the table.”

The Oklahoma Food Banks consist of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa.  The Regional Food Bank provides enough food to feed 116,000 Oklahomans every week.  The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributes more than 346,000 meals per week.

According to the Oklahoma Food Banks, 72 percent of clients report choosing between food and utilities and 66 percent had to choose between food and medicine and/or medical care.          

“I am older and retired,” shared one client of the Regional Food Bank.  “I don’t have much to spend on food. Every month I pay the bills when my check comes - and two days later I am broke.”

Together, we can solve hunger. The Oklahoma Food Banks are turning to the community for donations to help fight hunger throughout the state. Every dollar donated to the Regional Food Bank will provide five meals for children, seniors and families struggling with hunger.

Volunteers are also needed this summer to fight hunger. Last fiscal year, nearly 34,000 volunteers donated more than 130,000 hours of service, which saved the Regional Food Bank nearly $2.8 million in labor costs.

Volunteer hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Volunteer opportunities are also available Thursdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The Regional Food Bank, which is located at 3355 S. Purdue in Oklahoma City, accepts both individual volunteering and group volunteering.  The Volunteer Center welcomes volunteers of all ages, starting as young as 8 years old, Monday through Saturday.

Volunteer tasks include: bagging and boxing food products, boxing bread, working on salvage, assembling food for Food for Kids and more. To view available opportunities and register to volunteer, visit www.regionalfoodbank.org/volunteer.

Every donation to the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids between now and September 30 will be matched, up to $150,000, thanks to the generosity of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Top of the World, David Gorham and two anonymous families. To make a donation, visit foodforkids.us or call 405-600-3136. For more information, visit regionalfoodbank.org.

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed more than 52 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,200 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

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 1,200 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 644 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.

###