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Feeding the Heartland

Feeding the Heartland

Distributing 42.2 million pounds of food and products in a single year to those in need throughout central and western Oklahoma doesn’t happen by itself. It takes planning and organization on a massive scale, and that’s where the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma truly excels. But they can’t do it alone.

The Food Bank works with over 1,000 partner agencies in 53 counties to serve those who need them. The key ingredient to their success, however, is communication. “We started the annual Partner Agency Conference (PAC) four years ago,” said Angie Gaines, Director of Communications and Marketing, “and our partners love it! This conference helps them provide better resources to their clients.”

The one day event is filled with seminars and presentations on topics such as marketing, PR, food safety, how to build a pantry and how to conduct their own food and fund raising campaigns. “Our agencies each operate independently and PAC gives them an opportunity to learn how to do more,” said Angie.

 

The Food Bank and ROBYN Promotions provided each attendee with a branded padfolio to take notes throughout the day, but these organized folks think ahead. They included a flash drive with a copy of the slides from each of the presentations throughout the day. Talk about efficient!

And, this efficiency is being put to the test after the terrible twisters that devastated several communities in central Oklahoma. “We have been organizing efforts in all the areas affected by the tornadoes,” Angie said, “and we have established a Food Resource Center in Moore. By partnering with the Red Cross and the United Way, we are looking to meet the immediate needs of the community as well as the long road ahead.”

The Food Bank has been inundated with truckloads of donated food from companies, organizations and individuals across the United States and Canada. “We are just now getting to the point where we can look at the numbers,” said Angie. “Up to now, we’ve been more focused on getting the food in, accounting for it and getting it out to the people who need it!”

Of course, more help is needed (especially with the additional tornadoes that hit El Reno and south OKC last week!). If you would like to donate money, food or your time as a volunteer at the Food Bank, there is a dedicated page to these efforts at: http://regionalfoodbank.org/helpok