Oklahoma consistently ranks among the hungriest states in America.
One in 6 Oklahomans face hunger every day, and 25 percent of children in Oklahoma have inconsistent access to food, according to a 2015 Report from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Oklahoma also ranks among the top 10 states in the U.S. for food insecurity among seniors, with 1 in 11 senior citizens struggling with hunger.
As an Oklahoma-owned and operated company, Homeland is committed to serving our communities wherever there is need. Through our partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, we are taking action against hunger by providing and distributing food to those in need.
Heroes of Hunger
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank serves Oklahoma as its largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization. They provide food to more than 126,000 Oklahomans every week — 47,000 of whom are children. Only 4 percent of donations go to administrative and fundraising costs, which means 96 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to feeding hungry Oklahomans.
So, how does that translate to community impact? In 2016 alone, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributed 52 million pounds of food and product throughout a network of more than 1,300 charitable feeding programs and schools. The Food Bank is making a massive impact on the hunger epidemic in Oklahoma, but there is still work to be done.
As a non-profit, the Food Bank relies heavily on the generous support and donations of local businesses and residents. Steve Kullberg, vice president of operations at the Food Bank, says that corporate involvement “is instrumental in the fight against hunger in Oklahoma.”
At Homeland, we believe that we have a unique opportunity as a retail grocery store to support the Food Bank not only with donations, but also through partnering with our vendors and customers for food drives and fundraising campaigns.
During the past three years, our partnership with the Food Bank has included the following initiatives:
- Food Donation. Since 2014, Homeland has donated more than 1 million pounds of food to the Food Bank, providing 1,115,065 meals to Oklahoma residents.
- Food Drives. Each year, we sponsor Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. Many of our Homeland employees also support Chefs’ Feast, one of the largest fundraisers in the region.
- Committee Support. Phil Payment, the Homeland vice president of marketing and merchandising, serves on the Industry Relations Committee at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, offering guidance that helps bring in donations statewide.
We offer plenty of ways for our customers to support our partnership with the Food Bank, including Feeding Hope & Letter Carrier’s Food Drive, Governor Mary Fallin’s Feeding Oklahoma Drive, and Produce for Kids Campaign.
In addition, the Food Bank could benefit from more corporate partners. At Homeland, our partnership with the Food Bank is woven into our company culture and team building. Here are a few ways that you can support the Regional Food Bank through corporate responsibility:
- The food bank accepts in-kind or product donations. You can also offer a donations program that is automatically deducted from employee paychecks.
- Employee Matching Gifts. Encourage your employer to match any charitable contributions made by employees. If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer. Every dollar donated will provide five meals to Oklahomans with inconsistent access to food.
- Food and Fund Drive. Host a food and fund drive at your office. The food bank will provide the supplies you need to engage your employees, including donation boxes and a personal fundraising page.
- Submit a Volunteer Group Request online to have a group from your office come out to the Regional Food Bank or one of their off-site locations.
- Tour the Regional Food Bank. Visit the Regional Food Bank for a tour, or they can send a representative to your office to share more information about the organization and how you can help.
- Cause Marketing. Partner with the Regional Food Bank to sell a good or service and donate all, or a portion, of the proceeds to the non-profit.
- The food bank has a number of sponsorship opportunities throughout the year, including events and programs.
- Office Fundraisers. Encourage employees to participate in an office fundraiser, like Jeans Days or Penny Wars, to raise funds.
Homeland is proud to support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in making a difference in the lives of thousands of Oklahomans that go hungry each day. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us today.