Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top 10 hungriest states with more than 675,000 residents struggling with hunger every day, Gov. Mary Fallin said during a kickoff press conference Tuesday at OKC’s Regional Food Bank.
“Time and again, Oklahomans have proven themselves to be the most caring and giving individuals in the nation. Last year, Oklahomans from all 77 counties came together and donated more than two million meals in time for the holidays. This year, we can do even more for the hungry in our state,” she said.
Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank, said the majority of people suffering from hunger are children, senior citizens and the working poor.
“We’ve seen the face of hunger in our schools and, of all places, senior living centers,” he said. “We’re committed to fighting hunger.”
According to Bivens, Oklahoma food banks collect enough food to feed more than 150,000 people each week.
Food bank programs include local food pantries, soup kitchens, after-school programs, school pantries, shelters and senior centers.
Citizens may donate food, money or volunteer their time.
“Every dollar donated provides five meals for Oklahomans who are struggling to keep food on the table during the difficult winter months,” Bivens said.
Non-perishable food items can be donated at all BancFirst locations, Bob Moore dealerships, metro area Love’s Travel Stops select AT&T locations, the Regional Food Bank and their partner agencies. For a complete list of participating businesses or to make a monetary gift, visit www.feedoklahoma.org.
Bivens stressed that the most-needed items include canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned tuna, peanut butter, rice and beans. The food drive continues through Oct. 31.