Gov. Mary Fallin’s “Feeding Oklahoma Drive” exceeds goal, benefiting food banks
Published: December 16th, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Mary Fallin on Thursday (December 15) announced the seventh annual Feeding Oklahoma Drive, which ran Oct.1 through 31, exceeded its goal of raising 2 million meals. In total, the drive raised $303,991 in donations and 1,327,766 pounds of food, which will provide 2,626,428 meals for Oklahomans struggling with hunger.
“I want to thank the many generous Oklahomans who stepped up and donated to this year’s Feeding Oklahoma Drive,” Fallin said. “Because of your incredible generosity, we will provide meals to our hungry neighbors across the state. Just because the drive has ended, though, and we have met our goal, please do not forget the continued importance of giving this holiday season.”
In late November, Fallin kicked off the Christmas season while presiding at a state Capitol ceremonies which included the official lighting of a tree on the south side of the building. Hundreds of Oklahoma students, and foster children, were part of the day’s events at the seat of state government (http://www.www.capitolbeatok.com/reports/capitol-days-a-tree-lighting-and-farewells-to-larry-derryberry).
A variety of beautiful Christmas trees are scattered around the middle floors of the state Capitol building, with hand-crafted decorations created by urban and rural youngsters from across the state. Many students whose work remains on display in the building participated in efforts to support the food drive.
The Feeding Oklahoma Drive benefited the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and their partner agencies. Over the last seven years, 6,294,414 pounds of food and $2,533,692 have been raised through the Feeding Oklahoma Drive, which has provided the equivalent of 18,499,775 meals for hungry Oklahomans.
“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 of Oklahoma. “Families struggling with hunger shouldn’t have to decide between heating and eating. Thank you for joining us in fighting hunger this holiday season.”
The drive was chaired by businesswoman Laure Majors.
Participating Feeding Oklahoma Drive businesses included: Advance Pierre Foods, AT&T, BancFirst BP America, Bob Moore OKC, Cleveland County Abstract Co., ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Dobson Technologies, Dolese Brothers, Frates Insurance & Risk Management, First Mortgage Company, Frankfurt Short Bruza Associates, P.C., INTEGRIS Health, and JP Morgan Chase.
Other participating were Lamar Advertising Company, Lopez Foods, Love’s Travel Shops & Country Stores, Mustang Fuel Corporation, Mustang High School POM Squad, Northrup Grumman, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Pork Council, Oklahoma State University – Leadership and Campus Life, Riverwind Casino, The Boeing Company, The Boldt Company, The Chickasaw Nation, University of Oklahoma, Verizon and Walmart.
Last fiscal year, the Regional Food Bank and Community Food Bank distributed more than 73.1 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,700 charitable feeding programs and schools across Oklahoma.
“Once again, we are so grateful for the governor’s leadership and the state’s response to the issue of hunger in Oklahoma,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “It is a significant problem, but one that we can alleviate by working together. No Oklahoman should go to bed hungry.”
Organizers of the drive stressed there still is time to make a difference in the fight against hunger this holiday season. Thanks to a generous matching challenge from APMEX.com, the Cresap Family Foundation and Chesapeake Energy Corporation, every gift donated to the Regional Food Bank through Jan. 15 will be matched, dollar for dollar — up to $600,000 — for a total impact of $1.2 million. To make a donation, call (405) 600-3136 or visit regionalfoodbank.org.
During the month of December, the George Kaiser Family Foundation will match new, increased and lapsed donations up to $150,000 for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. For more information about the Community Food Bank, or to make a donation, 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 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 126,000 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 644 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry. For more information, visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/regionalfoodbank or 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. 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, shelters and veteran and senior citizen centers. 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 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/okfoodbank or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/okfoodbank.