By Stacy Martin
“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall shine in the darkness and your gloom by like the noonday”. – Isaiah 58:10.
Thunder basketball star Russell Westbrook hosted the first “A Night to End Hunger” gala benefiting the Needs Foundation Saturday at the Territorial Governor’s Mansion, 3615 N McKinley. The event drew more than 100 attendees who received special invitations.
Guests were served cocktails, food catered by Deep fork Restaurant. Zoom City band performed. Guests paid $250 apiece to attend, dine and receive items autographed by the OKC Thunder point guard. The donation entitled guests to 10 raffle tickets.
Fund-raising items included artwork featuring the young ballplayer, action team photos, as well as a work titled “Thundermobile,” a 1996 Suzuki X-90 featuring 10 Thunder team members custom-painted on each side by Drew Hooper.
The 501 (c) 3 charity has been formed to collect un-served, hot food from area restaurants and deliver it to hungry children and adults. The foundation has estimated it needs $1.3 million for start-up expenses. The total money raised Saturday night had not been tallied by press time.
The Needs Foundation collects un-served food from local restaurants and distributes it to churches, homeless shelters and hungry people in Oklahoma.
According to organizers:
- One in four Oklahoma children goes to bed hungry each night
- Oklahoma ranks fifth in the nation in food waste
- By simply collecting 25 lbs. of un-served food from 40 percent area restaurants the charities efforts would yield 95,000 lbs. of food
- The cost for the collection effort would be 11 cents per day
The Needs Foundation takes the hot food from the local restaurants and distributes it to churches, homeless shelters and hungry people in Oklahoma. There is no lengthy application process, and recipients don’t have to go to the Needs Foundation to receive the food. It brings it to them.
Its goal is to differ from other food donation organizations by serving perishable, delicious food rather than non-perishable foods.
The young organization is seeking food, volunteers, donations, sponsors and grants. Special thanks go to event organizer Jaclyn Brink-Rosen, hosts Brenda and Dennis Seagroves, owners of the Territorial Governor’s mansion and Jack Werner, as well as Rod Meyer, Deep Ford Restaurant Group.
For information, visit www.needsokc.org. You can also text the word “NEEDS” to 405-563-7769