Nonprofit Purchasing More Food as Retail Donations Decline and Need Increases
(OKLAHOMA CITY) – March 23, 2020 – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is pleased to announce that several anonymous donors have agreed to match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $775,000. Donations to the match can be made at rfbo.org/give or by calling 405-600-3136.
“Funding from both the private sector and government support is crucial to ensuring the Regional Food Bank meets the food assistance needs of our fellow Oklahomans,” said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “We’ve had wonderful and generous donations but we’ll need more.”
In response for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s primary food distribution will be emergency food boxes at this time. As retail food donations have declined significantly due to high consumer demand, the Regional Food Bank must now purchase the products for the emergency food boxes. The projected all-in costs to meet the current need is $2.7 million per month which supports emergency food boxes for 60,000 households. If the need increases, as is expected, additional costs will be incurred.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Regional Food Bank distributed 4.2 million pounds of food a month. Of that, 2.4 million was donated from retailers and manufacturers, 1.4 million was USDA commodities and $420,000 was purchased food. With the high consumer demand in recent weeks, food donations have greatly reduced with no immediate recovery in sight. As a result, the Regional Food Bank is now forced to purchase the 2.4 million pounds of food that was previously donated.
“We are the first responders for Oklahomans in need of food assistance,” Bunting said. “We know that we live in a state full of kind, generous people who we hope will answer our call for additional donations and participate in this match opportunity.”
Food Pantry Directory
For anyone in need of food assistance, the Regional Food Bank encourages them to visit rfbo.org/get-help. The web page offers a pantry finder option where the visitor enters their zip code and it will list nearby pantries. Visitors are encouraged to first call the pantry to confirm hours of operation and any possible restrictions. Persons in need of food assistance can also call the Regional Food Bank at 405-972-1111 during workday hours.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is leading the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma and envisions a state where everyone, regardless of circumstance, has access to nutritious food. Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state’s largest hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes food through a network of community-based partner agencies and schools. The majority of people served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks. To join the fight to end hunger, visit rfbo.org.