Governor Mary Fallin's fourth annual Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive raised more than 2.9 million meals for hungry Oklahomans this holiday season. The drive, which ran throughout October, exceeded its goal of raising 1.4 million meals. In total, the drive raised $390,659 and 1,179,087 pounds of food. A portion of the donations will also benefit Oklahomans impacted by the May tornadoes.
"I am continually overwhelmed by the support and generosity shown by Oklahomans in all 77 counties, and this year's food drive proves to be no different," Fallin said. "I want to especially thank all the sponsors and the caring people of this state who donated their time and resources to help feed our neighbors in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a great place because of its people. Their support of this food drive ensures more Oklahoma families will have a better holiday season."
The Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive benefited the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and their partner agencies across Oklahoma. Over the last four years, more than 2,578,293 pounds of food and $1,139,571 has been raised through the Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive, which has provided more than 7.8 million meals for hungry Oklahomans.
Food drop-off sites during the month-long drive included: BancFirst locations, Bob Moore Auto Group dealerships, metro area Love's Travel Stops, select AT&T stores, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and all partner agencies. UPS picked up and delivered donations around the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas.
"We are extremely grateful for Governor Fallin's continued support in the fight against hunger in Oklahoma," said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. "We also want to thank our friends who joined us in raising meals for our hungry Oklahoma neighbors. During the winter months, 40 percent of our clients have to choose between food and electricity. Thanks to your support, they may not have to make that choice this year."
Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top 10 hungriest states in the nation, with more than 675,000 Oklahomans struggling with hunger every day. That number has been on the rise due in part to the tornado devastation across the state. Oklahoma's food banks provide enough food to feed more than 150,000 people each week with the demand increasing during the holiday season.
Bivens joined Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, to express their thanks to all the people of Oklahoma who made this year's Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive a success.