Wednesday, November 22, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the totals from her eighth annual Feeding Oklahoma Drive. The month-long drive, which ran throughout October, benefited the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and the more than 1,700 community-based partner agencies they work with across the state. In total, the drive raised $153,579 and 989,525 pounds of food, which will provide nearly 1.6 million meals for Oklahomans with inconsistent access to healthy food.
“As governor of the great state of Oklahoma, I am always proud of how generous our citizens can be,” said Fallin. “That generosity is never more evident than when neighbors help neighbors; that’s what you’ve done by supporting the Feeding Oklahoma Drive. You have helped put food on the table for thousands of hungry Oklahomans and I am so grateful for your generosity. Thank you for joining the Oklahoma food banks and me in fighting hunger and feeding hope.”
Oklahoma consistently ranks as one of the hungriest states in the nation, with one in six Oklahomans living with hunger. The majority of Oklahomans served by the Oklahoma food banks are chronically hungry children, seniors on limited incomes, and hardworking families. The Feeding Oklahoma Drive comes at a critical time, as the need for food assistance increases during the winter months.
“Hunger exists all year long, but winter is especially difficult as the cost of heat often cuts into the food budget,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Families struggling with putting food on the table shouldn’t have to decide between heating and eating. Thank you for joining us in fighting hunger this holiday season.”
Feeding Oklahoma was presented by Chickasaw Nation, Devon Energy, ONEOK, and Walmart. Additional sponsors included Dolese Bros. Co.; Bob Moore Auto Group; ConocoPhillips; Farmers Insurance Group of Companies; Homeland; INTEGRIS Health; Lopez Foods; Love's Travel Stops; Nadel and Gussman Energy; and The Boeing Company.
The statewide drive was chaired by Laure Majors with co-chairs Laura Watts and Brenda Jones Barwick. Over the last eight years, 7.8 million pounds of food and $2.6 million have been raised through the Feeding Oklahoma Drive, which has provided the equivalent of 19.9 million meals for hungry Oklahomans.
“We know that families are preparing for the holidays, and celebrations centered around food. Governor Fallin’s drive does so much to help people who struggle with hunger. We want all Oklahomans to have the essentials needed not only for a healthy holiday meal, but for the days after as well,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “At the food bank, we appreciate this effort to unify people across our state to feed our neighbors.”
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed more than 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. For more information, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call (405) 972-1111.
Last fiscal year, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributed more than 24.7 million pounds of food and products, more than 32 percent of which was fresh produce. The food bank’s network of 465 partner programs includes emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs, senior centers, and veterans' initiatives in 24 eastern Oklahoma counties. For more information, visit okfoodbank.org or call (918) 585-2800.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of food banks. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 136,000 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 613 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 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. With branches in Tulsa and McAlester, it distributes donated items to 450 partner programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma. These programs include emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior centers, and veterans’ initiatives. In addition, the food bank helps raise public awareness about hunger and the role of food banking in alleviating hunger. For more information, visit okfoodbank.org; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/okfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/okfoodbank.
Cathy Nestlen, PR & Marketing Manager
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
W: (405) 604-7115 or C: (405) 850-5425
Greg Raskin, Communications Manager
W: (918) 936-4555