Wednesday, October 26, 2011
2011 Goal for Feeding Oklahoma is to Provide 1 Million Meals
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin’s second annual “Feeding Oklahoma” food drive and fundraising effort kicks off statewide on November 1. The goal this year is to raise 1 million meals to help feed hungry families, children and seniors during the holiday season. Donations benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and their partner agencies across the state.
“In Oklahoma, one in four children are at risk of going hungry every day,” Fallin said. “That’s not something we can ignore. Last year, Oklahomans proved why they are considered the most caring and giving people around by donating over 700,000 meals to the Feeding Oklahoma food drive. This year, we’re working to increase that number to a million meals. With the holidays approaching, now is a great time to give back to the community. I encourage all Oklahomans who can to participate in this year’s food drive. Working together, I know we’ll reach our goal.”
Co-chairing the state-wide food drive for Governor Fallin are businesswomen Laure Majors and Laura Watts.
The food drive runs through November 22. Businesses, organizations and individuals who wish to participate, can call (405) 604-7109 or (918) 585-2800, can e-mail food drive organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org or can visit www.regionalfoodbank.org. Online donations can be made at www.feedoklahoma.org. For every $1 donated, five meals will be provided to those in need. All donations are tax deductible and will benefit hungry Oklahomans.
Additionally, Oklahomans can drop-off non-perishable food items at the following locations: all BancFirst locations statewide, Oklahoma Farm Bureau offices statewide, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa; the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City; and all Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores in Oklahoma City metro area and locations in Norman and in Guthrie on Interstate 35.
UPS will pick up donations from BancFirst locations in the metro areas in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and deliver those to the Oklahoma food banks.
Most needed items include: canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned tuna, peanut butter and rice and beans. BancFirst also will accept monetary donations on behalf of the food banks.
“Through this food drive, Oklahomans will provide hope, in the form of food, to neighbors in need across this state,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Donations are needed now more than ever to keep up with the increased demand this holiday season.”
Last year, more than 20,000 pounds of food and $100,000 was raised to fight hunger through the “Feeding Oklahoma” food drive.
“We want to thank Governor Fallin for once again joining the fight against hunger in our state,” said Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “Donations will benefit those who are struggling to keep food on their table this winter. Oklahomans are very generous with giving back to help those in need and the Oklahoma food banks are extremely grateful for the support.”
Oklahoma is the fifth-hungriest state in the nation, where 600,000 people struggle with hunger every day. Oklahoma food banks serve more than 150,000 people each week, yet it is not enough to keep up with the increased demand.
“Food Banks across the state face challenging times ahead,” Bivens said. “We used to have a six week supply of food in our warehouse, but that recently has dropped to around a 35-day supply. The need for food shows no signs of decreasing. We are asking for the community’s help to meet the needs of hungry Oklahomans.”
The situation is similar at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa.
“The supply of food in our warehouse has dropped significantly over the past several months,” Waggoner said. “We are distributing more food than we are bringing in and we cannot continue to sustain this level. Unfortunately, the demand for food is showing no signs of leveling off and as we head into the holiday season, we need help from the community more than ever.”
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are children, seniors living on fixed incomes and working families who cannot make ends meet. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that acts as a link through which the food industry and community may donate food and other goods. The products are then distributed to nearly 825 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In fiscal year 2011, the Food Bank distributed 46.2 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 414 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry. Visit regionalfoodbank.org to learn more.
About the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Founded in 1981, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest, private hunger-relief organizations in Oklahoma. They distribute donated grocery items to 460 Partner Programs in 24 counties of Eastern Oklahoma. These programs include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, shelters and senior centers. In turn, those programs collectively feed 70,000 people each week, the equivalent of more than 1 million meals per month. In addition, the Food Bank helps raise public awareness about hunger and the role of food banking in alleviating hunger. Last year the Food Bank distributed nearly 17 million pounds of food.