The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has received a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help the nonprofit’s partner agencies secure and distribute more food to families in need of assistance. The grant will fund the purchase of equipment such as refrigerated vehicles, coolers and freezers, thermometers, temperature calibration devices and other items.
“One in six Oklahomans lives with hunger,” said Katie Fitzgerald, CEO of the Regional Food Bank. “It is important for the Regional Food Bank to provide Oklahomans with healthy food. We are thankful to Feeding America and the Walmart Foundation for helping us secure the equipment we need to ensure that chronically hungry children, seniors on fixed incomes and hardworking families have access to nutrient-rich options like fresh produce and dairy items.”
The Regional Food Bank’s “Retail Recovery Program” enables partner agencies to pick up donated food directly from retail partners. Last year, 125 local partner agencies picked up donations from 127 retail sites. With the grant funding, the Regional Food Bank anticipates increasing the amount of perishable nutritious food donated from retailers by nearly 287,000 pounds, which equates to more than 239,000 meals for Oklahomans facing hunger.
The Walmart Foundation aims to help food banks rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the U.S. in a sustainable, cost-effective way. This grant is a part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with putting food on the table by providing four billion meals to people in need in the U.S. by 2020.
Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has been a supporter of infrastructure grants to Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. Last year, Walmart donated $420,889 and 9.5 million pounds of food to the Regional Food Bank to fight hunger across central and western Oklahoma.