Volunteers Donate Time and Food With News 9's Gratitude Bags

Donations Fight Hunger in 53 Central and Western Oklahoma Counties

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – August 5, 2016 – Oklahoma’s Own - News 9 and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma are encouraging volunteers to help fight hunger in Oklahoma. For the past year, the nonprofit has been distributing News 9 “Gratitude Bags” to individuals and group volunteers.  They are asked to fill the reusable bag with non-perishable food items and return them to the Regional Food Bank the next time they volunteer.

“People are hungry for one of two reasons: behavior or circumstance,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “We don’t believe either is justification for not having food. The News 9 Gratitude Bags remind us all to be grateful for what we have and to share some of our resources with those who have less. ”

Most needed items include canned meats, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, rice and beans. Monetary donations are also accepted. In fact, every dollar donated will provide five meals for Oklahomans struggling with hunger, like Steve.

“Steve and his wife have three children ranging from ages 4 through 9,” shared a partner agency of the Regional Food Bank.  “Steve lost his job. If it wasn't for our food pantry, they wouldn't have enough food to last until his unemployment benefits and food stamps started. We are happy we are here to help as many as we can during these difficult times.”

Griffin Communications and News 9 have been long-time supporters of the Regional Food Bank and selected the Food for Kids program as its charity of choice in 2011. Since that time, more than $7 million has been raised to fight childhood hunger across the state.

“We are so humbled to be able to work with the Regional Food Bank on this wonderful project,” said Kelly Ogle, News 9 anchor. “Our News 9 viewers have responded like only Oklahomans do the last five years and we hope that they will help our most vulnerable neighbors & friends again by filling a gratitude bag with food when they come to volunteer.”

The Regional Food Bank couldn’t operate without volunteers. The Regional Food Bank accepts both individual volunteering and group volunteering year-round. Tasks include: bagging and boxing food products, boxing bread, working on salvage product, assembling Food for Kids meals and more. To view available opportunities and register to volunteer, visit regionalfoodbank.org/volunteer.

Volunteers save the Regional Food Bank nearly $3 million in labor costs annually, allowing those funds to provide more food for our hungry Oklahoma neighbors. In total, volunteers sorted and packed more than 8.9 million pounds of food last year to fight hunger in Oklahoma. 

Between now and September 30, the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Top of the World, David Gorham and two anonymous families are matching donations to the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids program, up to $150,000.  To make a donation online visit foodforkids.us.  For more information visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.600.3136.

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private domestic hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma, and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks. 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.