Regional Food Bank Receives $10,000 from Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation

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(OKLAHOMA CITY) – Oct. 17, 2016 – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has received a $10,000 grant from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation and its Community Grant program. The grant will be used to assist in funding the Western Technology Center Student Pantry in Burns Flat, which will allow the Regional Food Bank to increase services to individuals in rural Oklahoma.

“We appreciate the support of the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation,” said Dawn Burroughs, vice president of marketing at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Unfortunately, one in four children in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to food.  Hungry students cannot learn, which is why the Student Pantry is so important.”

The grant from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation will be used to develop a new pantry at Western Technology Center in Burns Flat. This pantry, which will had its grand opening ceremony on September 28 is designed for working students, many of whom are retraining for new careers. Through the new pantry, students will receive the food and resources they need to stay in school, achieve the professional certifications needed for better employment and build greater long-term financial stability with higher-paying jobs. An estimated 50 to 100 students will be served through the pantry each month.

“Opening this food pantry for our students will help them stay in school and focus less on food insecurity and more on learning, which in the long term will result in better employees and better lives for these students and their families,” said Shelby Luna, Western Technology Center Student Pantry coordinator.  “We foster a ‘pay it forward’ culture at WTC, and our goal is for students to take that mindset into the future and help the next generation of students reach their own potential.”

The Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation was founded by the late Carolyn Watson, CEO and chairman of Shamrock Bank, N.A., in 1995 to improve the quality of life in rural Oklahoma communities.

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 52 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,300 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

Together, we can solve hunger.  For more information about the Western Technology Center Student Pantry or the Regional Food Bank, please visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-972-1111.

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 126,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 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.

About the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation

Through its two grant programs, the organization promotes education, health, literacy and arts and the humanities in 20 Oklahoma counties. Since its inception, the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to schools, teachers and communities in rural Oklahoma.   Additionally, the Carolyn Watson Opportunities Scholarship offers awards of up to $10,000 per academic year for high school seniors graduating from 62 rural Oklahoma counties to attend college. For more information, please visit www.ruraloklahoma.org.

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