The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s primary purpose and mission is “Fighting Hunger … Feeding Hope.” The organization envisions a hunger-free Oklahoma, where everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food, regardless of his or her circumstance. This vision forms the foundation of the Regional Food Bank’s efforts to feed Oklahomans struggling with hunger.
More than 652,000 Oklahomans are food insecure, which means that they may not know where their next meal is coming from. Oklahoma ranks near the worst among states in terms of the most severe forms of food insecurity.
Food insecurity is linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases. The experience of living in food insecure households may result in poor cognitive development and the development of chronic disease later in life for children.
Oklahoma ranks among the 10 worst states for many key health indicators, including cardiovascular deaths, physical inactivity, premature deaths, obesity, and preventable hospitalizations.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s newest initiative, Fresh Rx, is a strategic effort to improve health outcomes for low-income, high-risk individuals.
Fresh Rx is a collaborative project that involves community partners, schools, state and county health departments, and health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Through a combination of healthy food distributions, targeted clinical care, nutrition education and wellness resources, Fresh Rx eliminates key barriers to improved health, including a lack of access to healthy food and transportation challenges.
In addition to the above programs, the following ideas have been discussed for expanding this focus area: