By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has announced that anyone impacted by the federal government shutdown can seek food assistance at over 1,300 community-based partner agencies throughout central and western Oklahoma.
“We have reached out to our partners in 53 counties and asked that they extend assistance eligibility to anyone who has been impacted by the shutdown,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank.
“We expect to see an increase in the number of Oklahomans in need of food assistance as this shutdown continues. No one should be forced to make a choice between paying rent or purchasing food for their family.”
To find nearby food pantries, those impacted by the shutdown can call 405-972-1111 or enter their zip code online.
As the shutdown extends into the future, it will continue to impact federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Last year, SNAP provided food assistance for nearly 875,000 Oklahomans and is a means for economic security for Oklahomans in need.
While SNAP has been funded through January, there will be a reduced amount available for February. Currently there is no funding available for March.
“The ripple effect of the shutdown is being felt now and will only worsen as it continues,” said Fitzgerald. “Food is an essential need. Currently, one in six Oklahomans lives with hunger daily. We will have a real crisis in Oklahoma if the shutdown goes much longer.”
The commodities that the Regional Food Bank receives and distributes from the USDA are being delayed due to the shutdown. However, it’s the funding from donors that allows the Regional Food Bank to help fill in the gap during the government shutdown.
To make a donation, visit rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3136.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is leading the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma and envisions a state where everyone, regardless of circumstance, has access to nutritious food.
Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state’s largest hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes food through a network of community-based partner agencies and schools.
The majority of people served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks.
For more information or to join the fight to end hunger, visit rfbo.org.