Seeds of Hope Help Seniors Struggling with Hunger

Regional Food Bank Helps Seniors with Inconsistent Access to Food in Oklahoma City

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – Aug. 25, 2016 – Oklahoma remains one of the top 10 states in the nation for food insecurity for seniors.

In fact, one in 11 seniors in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to food.

The Regional Food Bank’s Senior Mobile Market provides a monthly distribution of food to seniors, which is set up farmer’s market style and encourages participants to select the items they need.  A typical Mobile Market provides a bag of non-perishable food, like canned fruits and vegetables, cereal and shelf stable milk.  Items also include: protein, fresh produce and bread. The program currently has 18 locations in the Oklahoma City metro and serves more than 1,300 seniors a month.

“They give you the staples so you can fix a meal,” said Evelyn, who benefits from the Senior Mobile Market program. “The cost of food is outrageous now.”

The Regional Food Bank places a priority on increasing the volume of fresh fruits and vegetables it distributes to clients, which are often expensive and the first thing to go when Oklahomans are living on a limited income.  Recently, the Reginal Food Bank began distributing Seeds of Hope at Senior Mobile Market to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Summer seeds include: cantaloupe, watermelon, summer squash, okra, zucchini and cucumbers.

“So many older Oklahomans are living on a limited income and have to choose between paying for utilities, medicine, and food,” said Rodney W. Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Seeds of Hope empowers clients to grow their own fresh produce.  Having access to their own garden helps ensure they are eating healthier meals to improve their health.”

Oklahoma ranks among the 10 worst states for many key health indicators, including: cardiovascular deaths, physical inactivity, premature deaths, obesity, and preventable hospitalizations. According to a survey by the Oklahoma Food Banks, which consists of the Regional Food Bank and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, 83 percent of client households reported purchasing the cheapest food available, even if they knew it wasn’t the healthiest option, in an effort to provide enough food for their household.  Additionally, more than half of client households have a member with high blood pressure and 24 percent have a household member in poor health.

“By working together, we can solve hunger in Oklahoma and increase access to healthier foods,” said Bivens.

It’s not too late to join the fight against hunger in Oklahoma. For more information, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-600-3136.

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. Each week, the organization provides enough food to feed more than 116,000 hungry Oklahomans.

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.

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