Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive Kicks Off in May
Helps the Increasing Number of Oklahomans Struggling with Hunger
April 14, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is turning to the community to help “Stamp Out Hunger” by raising 900,000 pounds of food and $800,000 in May through the Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive. The event consists of a month-long food and fund drive in the metro-area and a one-day Letter Carriers Food Drive in 83 cities on Saturday, May 14th. The food drive, which runs from May 2-27, raises shelf-stable food and funds to help the Regional Food Bank and its partner agencies feed more hungry Oklahomans throughout the summer months, when school is out and utility bills are high.
“The number of people the Regional Food Bank serves continues to grow and the need is greater than ever before,” said Ray Haefele, Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive chair. “We are asking businesses in Oklahoma City to sign up to participate in the food drive. Together, we know we can make a significant difference in the fight against hunger.”
Oklahoma City area businesses are encouraged to hold food and fund drives in May to help feed the 500,000 Oklahomans that struggle with hunger each day. Nearly 100 businesses have already signed up to fight hunger in Oklahoma, including Devon Energy, Ideal Homes, Arvest Bank, and Chesapeake Energy.
As part of the Letter Carriers Food Drive, residents in 83 cities are encouraged to fill a plastic donation bag, which they receive in the mail the week of May 9th, with canned food donations and leave it next to their mail box by 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 14th. Volunteers are also needed to help sort food donations on May 14th at 22 post offices across the metro.
All donations collected will benefit the hungry in the community where it was collected. The following 83 cities are participating in the Letter Carriers Food Drive: Ada, Altus, Alva, Anadarko, Arapaho, Ardmore, Atoka, Bethany, Binger, Blackwell, Blanchard, Cashion, Chandler, Cherokee, Chickasha, Choctaw, Cleveland, Clinton, Comanche, Cordell, Cushing, Davis, Del City, Duncan, Durant, Edmond, El Reno, Elk City, Enid, Fairview, Frederick, Geary, Guthrie, Guymon, Healdton, Hinton, Hobart, Holdenville, Jones, Kingfisher, Lawton, Lexington, Lindsay, Luther, Madill, Mangum, Marlow, McLoud, Medford, Midwest City, Minco, Moore, Mustang, Newalla, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Okemah, Oklahoma City, Pauls Valley, Perry, Piedmont, Ponca City, Purcell, Sayre, Seminole, Shawnee, Slaughterville, Spencer, Stillwater, Stroud, Sulphur, Tecumseh, Tishomingo, Tonkawa, Tuttle, Watonga, Weatherford, Wewoka, Wilson, Woodward, Wynnewood, and Yukon.
Most needed donations include: canned meats, meat-based soups, canned fruits, canned vegetables, peanut butter, and rice and beans. Monetary donations can also be made online at regionalfooodbank.org, by calling 405.972.1111 or by texting “CAN” to 27722 to make a $10 donation (data and message rates apply). Every dollar donated will provide seven meals to a hungry neighbor in need.
“In this economy it’s important for Oklahomans to rally behind causes, like the Letter Carriers Food Drive, to help their neighbors struggling with hunger,” said David Miller, president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 458 in Oklahoma City. “More Oklahomans than ever are in need, which is why we remain committed to this drive.”
The Regional Food Bank doesn’t expect a decline in the demand for food assistance. The rise in food and gas prices, along with cuts in government assistance programs, will drive more families to local pantries for weekly groceries.
“The Regional Food Bank distributes enough food to feed more than 77,000 people each week– and it is still not enough to meet the increased demand,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “We are turning to the community for help. Every can and every dollar donated makes a difference to your neighbor in need.”
The Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive is sponsored by: Executive Sponsors Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy; AFL CIO; American Fidelity Foundation; BancFirst; Bank of Oklahoma; Campbell’s; Express Employment Professionals; Feeding America; First United Bank; Homeland Grocery Stores; 93.3 JAKE FM; 97.3 KKNG; 92.5 KOMA; Linn Energy; Love’s Travel Shops & County Stores; Magic 104.1 KMGL; Mercy Health System of Oklahoma; National Association of Letter Carriers; National Association of Rural Letter Carriers; News 9; OGE Energy Corp.; Oklahoma City Firefighters IAFF Local #157; The Oklahoman; Riverwind Casino; SandRidge Energy, Inc.; Seagate Technology; United Supermarkets; United States Postal Service; United Way of Central Oklahoma; and Valpak.
Thanks to the following steering committee members: Feeding Hope Chair Christina Ray Haefele; Letter Carriers Chair David Miller; Letter Carriers Co-Chair Steve Riggs: Letter Carriers Co-Chair Bob Bearden: David Carpenter, American Fidelity Assurance; Brandi Scott, American Red Cross; Cindy Batt, Arvest Bank; Gerald Cockerham and Shawn Steele, AWG; Anita Reaves, Campbell Soup; Tim O'Connor, Central OK Labor Federation; Katie Collins, Chesapeake Energy; Sharon Neuwald, Community Leader; Kim Whyburn, Devon Energy; Joe Csordas, Enid Letter Carrier; Cheryl Brashear, Express Employment Professionals; Christina Bobbitt, First United Bank; Dave Heineke, Food Industry; Kelly Epperson, Homeland/United Stores; Kristy Boone, Ideal Homes; Angie Larson, Ingenux; Diana Erwin and Gaylene Stiles, Mercy; James Bryant and Sonya Dulan, National Association of Letter Carriers: Larry Hayes, Norman Letter Carrier; Marcus Evans, OKC Fire Department; Terry Kennedy, Seagate; Keith Beltz, Shawnee Letter Carrier; Royce Thompson, Shawnee Post Office; Elisa Milbourn, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau; Barbara Royce, United Way; and Brett Bowden, ValPak.
Last year, 857,000 pounds of food and $701,000 in 51 cities through the Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive.
For more information about the Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive, call Angie Gaines at 405.604.7109, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit regionalfoodbank.org.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that acts as a link through which the food industry and community may donate food and other goods. The products are then distributed to nearly 700 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed 36.5 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 386 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry. Visit regionalfoodbank.org to see the new counter that tracks the pounds and meals distributed every second.