Regional Food Bank Of Oklahoma Provides Free Summer Meals For Children

As schools close for the Summer so do school cafeterias. According to Hunger Free Oklahoma, one in five Oklahoma children don’t get the food they need. One Oklahoma organization helps take that worry off the table.  

Tuesday, May 28th 2024, 10:34 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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As schools close for the Summer so do school cafeterias. 

According to Hunger Free Oklahoma, one in five Oklahoma children don’t get the food they need. One Oklahoma organization helps take that worry off the table.  

Oklahoma’s food insecurity rate falls ahead of the national average. The Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City is preparing meals for children. Their leaders said they understand families' struggles and have a mission to help. 

“Food in a household budget can easily fall to the very bottom,” said Cathy Nestlen, director of marketing and communication at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Unfortunately, Oklahoma is one of the hungriest states in the nation.” 

Nestlen is passionate about her organization and its Summer Feeding Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

“Food is a fundamental right,” Nestlen said. “You can’t work here and not believe in the work we do. You can’t help but be hooked by the mission. It is so important that children have consistent access to nutritious food.” 

About 100 state sites throughout 53 counties offer children free meals. 

“We’ve been doing this for well over 20 years,” Nestlen said. 

The effort also requires a standard Nestlen said -- the Oklahoma standard. 

“About eighty-seven percent of inventory is donated,” Nestlen said. “We could not do our work without volunteers.” 

Schools may be closed, but doors remain open where food is always on the table. 

“So, when they return to school in the fall, they’re ready to learn,” Nestlen said. “The work that we do is so important.” 

For a list of the statewide sites offering free meals visit regionalfoodbank.org/summermeals. Anyone interested in volunteering for the program can visit regionalfoodbank.org/volunteer

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