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Regional Food Bank volunteer headcount down 60 percent. Time is crucial to distribute holiday contributions

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is in need of volunteers on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 4 p.m. Donations from the holiday season need to be quickly sorted for distribution to partner agencies in 53 central and western counties.
“Our volunteer headcount is down about 60 percent compared to the number of volunteers we had in December,” said Jamie Treadaway, manager of volunteer engagement at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “We are encouraging corporations to allow their employees to volunteer during the week so that we can work the product and get it to the people who need it as soon as possible.”

Because of the work that volunteers do, the Regional Food Bank is able to provide enough food to feed more than 90,000 Oklahomans each week in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Last year, thousands of volunteers donated more than 120,000 hours of service, saving the Regional Food Bank $2 million in labor.

“Our partner agencies are reporting up to a 50 percent increase in need,” said Treadaway. “Last month alone, more than 3.4 million pounds of food and product were sorted by our volunteers and distributed to our partner agencies. We couldn’t serve the hungry without our dedicated volunteers.”

Volunteer tasks include bagging and boxing food products, boxing bread, working on salvage, packing Food for Kids bags and more.

The Regional Food Bank, located at 3355 S. Purdue in Oklahoma City, accepts both individual volunteering and group volunteering. No appointment is necessary for individual volunteers or groups of five or less. Groups with more than six volunteers need to schedule a volunteer time by calling Jamie Treadaway at 405-600-3154 or by emailing [email protected]

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, one in two Americans is poor or low-income. In Oklahoma, one in seven people struggles with hunger every day.

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 825 schools and charitable feeding programs in central and western Oklahoma.

In fiscal year 2011, the Food Bank distributed 46.2 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 424 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.

For more information call 405.972.1111 or visit

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