“It takes more than food to fight hunger and it’s important to have that conversation with elected officials,” said Kendra Loper, chief community engagement officer at the Regional Food Bank. “It’s vital that we work together not only on this date but every day as we work to end hunger and help Oklahoma families thrive.”
Formerly known as Hunger Action Day, Anti-Hunger Day brings together employees and volunteers from the three organizations to meet with state lawmakers and discuss ideas on how to make an impact in the lives of Oklahomans living with hunger.
Oklahoma is the fifth hungriest state in the nation. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Regional Food Bank and Hunger Free Oklahoma work daily to ensure the one in six Oklahomans living with food insecurity have access to the resources they need.
“As an organization we spend the entire year collaborating with agencies and elected officials at the local, state and federal level to find the best nutritional outcomes for our state,” said Chris Bernard, executive director at Hunger Free Oklahoma. “So, we’re thrilled volunteers from all of our organizations can also connect with legislators personally on a topic that’s a priority for them. We all know that ending hunger must include both direct assistance and strong policy; we’re excited for a day that highlights that mission.”
The three organizations actively advocate for policies that remove barriers and increase both access and awareness to food and nutrition programs. Volunteers at the Anti-Hunger Day event also will be asking lawmakers to consider policies that address the intersections of hunger and health.
“We know hunger is a devastating obstacle for Oklahomans facing food insecurity to overcome,” said Ryan Walker, interim CEO at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “When children, adults and seniors don’t receive adequate nutrition, their health outcomes suffer. Our state can only flourish when we provide opportunities for everyone to succeed, and access to nutritious food is the common denominator.”
Founded in 1981, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest, private hunger-relief organizations in Oklahoma. With branches in Tulsa and McAlester, it distributes food to people in need through a network of 730 partner agencies and direct service programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.
Hunger Free Oklahoma, founded in 2016, is a statewide policy-focused organization that has brought millions of dollars back to the state of Oklahoma through improved access to federal nutrition programs.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is leading the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma. Founded in 1980, it 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 Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America.