Food for Health Programs

Oklahoma consistently ranks as one of the worst states in the United States for health, which includes: cardiovascular deaths, diabetes deaths and obesity. Oklahoma has one of the lowest rate of vegetable consumption in the nation. Food insecurity is linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases. The experience of living with food insecurity may result in poor cognitive development and can lead to chronic disease later in life for children.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Fresh Rx initiative is a strategic effort to improve health outcomes for low-income, high-risk Oklahomans. This collaborative project involves community partners, state and county health departments, and health care facilities. The program combines healthy food distribution, nutrition education and recipe cards. The program also teaches healthcare partners how to identify patients with food insecurity and how to provide referrals to food bank agencies and programs in order to connect patients with healthy food.

Healthy Pantry Certification Program

Fresh Produce Distribution

Fresh Food Mobile Markets

Healthy Living Pantry Boxes

Nutrition Education


In addition to the above programs, the following ideas have been discussed for expanding this focus area:

  • Clinical Partnerships: develop and expand health partnerships with state-wide healthcare hospital systems, clinics and the county and state Department of Health to increase access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables through “prescriptions” for fresh food prescribed by doctors who have identified at-risk patients, provide opportunities for increased nutrition education, and emphasize lifestyle and nutrition changes that could improve the overall health of under-resourced children, seniors and families.
  • Expand the emphasis on health at Food Resource Centers: include a larger volume and greater variety of healthy foods available, health screenings at intake, nutrition education and cooking classes, and resources and referrals for clients.
  • Data and Research: coordinate one or more research projects to contribute to the body of evidence that increased access to food improves health outcomes.