On May 15, 1980, the Oklahoma City Food Bank became the 21st food bank created in the U.S. and the first in the region. A 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 200 S.W. 5th Street was secured as the first distribution facility.In 1981, the Good Faith Donor Bill passed the Oklahoma Legislature relieving donors of liability for donations made in good faith, and the Food Bank moved into a 14,000-square-foot warehouse at 8 NW 8th in Oklahoma City. Then, in 1987, the Food Bank purchased a 37,000-square-foot warehouse at 30 SE 17th Street where distribution remained until May of 2000.In 2000, the organization changed its name to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to better describe the area served by the Food Bank and the distribution was moved to the newly constructed Donald W. Reynolds Distribution Center at 3355 S. Purdue. An expansion of the current site in 2009 added additional warehouse, freezer, dock and volunteer space – increasing the total size of the current facility to 150,000 square-feet.In its first year of operation, the Regional Food Bank distributed 280,000 pounds of food, which is now distributed in about three days. The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 people every week with administrative and fundraising costs of less than four percent. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 460 million pounds of food to needy families.
During our first year of operation, the Regional Food Bank distributed approximately 280,000 pounds of food to 45 charities – we now do that in about 3 days. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has distributed more than 460 million pounds of food. In fiscal year 2015, the Food Bank distributed more than 50.3 million pounds of food.
Over one-third of the Regional Food Bank's emergency food recipients on a weekly basis are children. Since there is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development, even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature negatively impact a child's health, behavior, and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks. In addition, going without food can cause behavioral and psychological effects such as depression, aggression, anxiety, and poor social skills in children. Food is the most essential school supply. Hungry children cannot learn.
Every day, older Oklahomans are faced with the dilemma of not having enough money to pay for rent, utilities, medical bills and prescriptions. At times, support from family and friends is just not enough, and they are unable to stretch their dollar far enough to purchase enough food to sustain their health.
We provide disaster relief (water, food, tarps, baby food, diapers, cots for shelters, etc.) along with other voluntary organizations active in disaster. Fund donations are best, as we can then purchase what is needed most. If you’d like to donate to help – please visit our website, where we’ve designated a special page through which all funds will be allocated for disaster relief. I’ve included a link below.
Alternatively, you can text to give from your cellular device:
Rodney W. Bivens is the founder and executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. His work with other nonprofit agencies led him to witness what hunger can do to individuals and families. Out of his personal conviction that no one should have to face hunger in a nation blessed with so much abundance, he founded the organization in 1980.Born and raised in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Bivens and his three older brothers grew up on a farm just outside of town. After his father was disabled in a car accident, the Bivens' family came to rely on friends, family and church to help them keep food on their table. This experience left Bivens with a unique perspective on the impact of hunger on children and families in Oklahoma.Under his leadership, the Regional Food Bank has grown rapidly to fulfill the need for food in central and western Oklahoma. In its first year of operation, the Regional Food Bank distributed 280,000 pounds of food, which is now distributed in about three days. The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 people every week with administrative and fundraising costs of less than five percent. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 500 million pounds of food to needy families.Bivens and his team at the Regional Food Bank developed one of the first rural distribution systems in the country, which has become a model for other food banks. The Regional Food Bank currently serves more than 1,200 charitable feeding programs and schools throughout 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma, and distributes nationally donated product to four other food banks in Kansas, Texas and New Mexico.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
In times of disasters, there are nonprofit and religious organizations that can assist those affected whether it be a personal disaster or a wide-scale disaster. Several of the organizations listed in this area are members of the national Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD).
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1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102