OKLAHOMA CITY – March 18, 2015 – A recent study by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Feeding America shows that one in six, or an estimated 656,000, Oklahomans turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families.
“The results of this study show us that the face of hunger may be closer than we think,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “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 report, which can be found at regionalfoodbank.org, documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by the Regional Food Bank and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, the “Oklahoma Food Banks,” and their partner agencies. The report identifies some of the health outcomes surrounding hunger and the challenges many face while living at or below the federal poverty level.
Key statistics from the report:
LOW WAGES, UNDEREMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT MAY DRIVE NEED FOR FOOD ASSISTANCE
MAKING TOUGH CHOICES AND TRADE-OFFS TO KEEP FOOD ON THE TABLE
Client households reported making the following choices in the past 12 months:
CLIENTS STRUGGLING WITH HEALTH ISSUES
OKLAHOMA FOOD BANK’S AGENCIES AND PROGRAMS
“My husband is working and I'm still looking,” shared a client. “We've had to stretch every dollar he makes to keep the bills paid and have gas to get to work. It's been hard to find extra money for food.”
The Oklahoma Food Banks are the largest private hunger-relief organizations in the state. Food Banks are the single most important source of food for Oklahoma's hunger relief agencies and the people they serve.
Together, we can solve hunger. The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, children and seniors living on fixed incomes. Through April 30, 2015, the Charles and Cassandra Bowen Charitable Foundation and the Anderson Charitable Foundation have teamed up to match donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to fight senior hunger – up to $130,000. To make a donation, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.600.3136.
Hunger in America 2014 was conducted using rigorous academic research standards and was peer reviewed by a technical advisory team, including researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Urban Institute. Nationally, confidential responses were collected on electronic tablets by 6,000 trained volunteer data collectors. The study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest private hunger relief organization. The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 110,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of nearly 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 550 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 Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to people through food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.