Approximately 15.6% of Oklahoma households are plagued by food insecurity, which means those households have limited or uncertain access to adequate nutrition, according to the nonprofit organization Hunger-Free Oklahoma. The problem costs the state more than $1.4 billion a year through increased illness and reduced academic performance alone.
Oklahomans who need help feeding their families can turn to one of the food pantries scattered across the state. Some of those agencies receive donated food from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Here are five things to know about the Oklahoma City-based Regional Food Bank, courtesy of the organization’s website:
1. The Regional Food Bank, which belongs to the Feeding America network of food banks, is the state’s largest hunger relief charity.
2. The organization provides enough food to feed more than 136,000 hungry Oklahomans each week. About 37% of those are children.
3. In fiscal year 2018, the Regional Food Bank distributed more than 49.7 million pounds of food through its network of partner agencies, charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 Oklahoma counties.
4.The food bank partners with the following Ada food pantries: Asbury United Methodist Church, Matthew 25 Mission Inc., Southwest Church of Christ, Covenant Church and Morris Memorial Baptist Church.
5. Several other Pontotoc County organizations work with the Regional Food Bank, including the backpack programs at elementary schools, school pantry programs at local junior high and high schools, and the Family Crisis Center.