TSET grants fight hunger, improve access to healthier foods

March 7, 2021 – Hunger Free Oklahoma received TSET funding to expand the Double Up Oklahoma (DUO) program in up to 11 grocery stores in nine counties across rural Oklahoma. 

Oklahomans Impacted By COVID-19, Applying For SNAP Help

February 26, 2021 – Hunger Free Oklahoma said they’ve helped 6,500 families submit SNAP applications since last spring. Of those, they’ve been able to help about 3,200, but that number continues to go up…

OK families approved for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

July 8, 2020 – The USDA announced Oklahoma’s approval to operate a Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program. Funding comes from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act…

'The next meal is handled': Tulsa Kitchens Unite to keep local families fed, restaurant workers paid during COVID-19 crisis

April 16, 2020 – In just one week of operation, Tulsa Kitchens Unite provided nearly 9,600 free meals to recipients, and it aims to serve about 30,000 a week in the coming weeks…

Coronavirus in Oklahoma: USDA allows all Oklahoma school districts to give free meals

March 31, 2020 – A new federal waiver will open free school meals to students statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only in high-need areas of Oklahoma…

‘Never Thought I Would Need It’: Americans Put Pride Aside to Seek Aid

March 31, 2020 – With coronavirus-related job losses, many workers are reluctantly seeking charity and unemployment benefits for the first time in their lives…

For media inquiries, contact Katie Maxey-Marvel, Communications Coordinator, katie.marvel@hungerfreeok.org, 918.568.1137

Tulsa Area United Way: Featuring Hunger Free Oklahoma's program Tulsa Kitchens Unite

“57 additional mouths got fed because of [Tulsa Kitchens Unite] besides the 3,600 meals a week we cooked. This program that was supplied to [Blue Dome Market] kept this restaurant open.”
– Robert, Owner of Blue Dome Market

Listen

A Conversation with Chris Bernard, the Executive Director of Hunger Free Oklahoma, Public Radio Tulsa

Chris Bernard talks to Dr. John Schumann about the state of hunger in Oklahoma.

Hunger Free Oklahoma in the News.

Read news coverage highlighting Hunger Free Oklahoma team members and work.

The Norman Transcript: Norman Farm Market opening last season at current location

“Cooper said the market also offers a Double Up Oklahoma grant, provided by Hunger Free Oklahoma, which allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries to receive one-to-one matches for purchases of locally-grown fruits and vegetables.”

The Oklahoman: TSET grants fight hunger, improve access to healthier foods

“Hunger Free Oklahoma received TSET funding to expand the Double Up Oklahoma (DUO) program in up to 11 grocery stores in nine counties across rural Oklahoma. The program provides vouchers to Oklahomans using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and will help participants buy more fruits and vegetables.”

News on 6: Oklahomans Impacted By COVID-19, Applying For SNAP Help

” Hunger Free Oklahoma said they’ve helped 6,500 families submit SNAP applications since last spring. Of those, they’ve been able to help about 3,200, but that number continues to go up.”

Tulsa World: Chris Bernard: Don’t let COVID relief packages be a bridge to nowhere

“Though important food security programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have been reinforced, there is more work needed to ensure safe passage to the other side of this pandemic.”

KOCO 5 Chronicle: Food for the Holidays

“So if you look nationwide, you’re looking at 17 million people being added to the ranks of food insecure. In Oklahoma, you’re looking at a 40 percent increase.”

The Claremore Daily Progress: Cherokee Nation distributes more than 13,000 ready-made meals to Cherokee elders

“The Cherokee Nation partnered with Hunger Free Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization based out of Tulsa to bring nutritious restaurant-quality meals to Cherokee elders who typically depend on senior nutrition centers to get their daily meals.”

Tulsa World: Caron Lawhorn: Fundraising in a pandemic? We can do it the Tulsa way, the United Way

“By working with Hunger Free Oklahoma, a community collaboration partner, Merrifield and his staff made 3,600 meals in his kitchen each week for 17 weeks to feed thousands of families and individuals in need.”

Tulsa World: Chris Bernard: Keep businesses open, employees paid and families fed. It's a SNAP

“It is fiscally responsible to increase SNAP because it supports local businesses and economies, maintains jobs and feeds hungry Oklahomans.”

FOX 25: OK families approved for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

“The USDA announced Oklahoma’s approval to operate a Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program. Funding comes from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

Tulsa World: Community organizations continue to feed Tulsans through lasting pandemic effects

“Fully funded for 12 weeks, the program produced 336,900 meals through more than 19,400 work hours in 23 partner kitchens, according to numbers the organization released.”

Tulsa World: 'The next meal is handled': Tulsa Kitchens Unite to keep local families fed, restaurant workers paid during COVID-19 crisis

“In just one week of operation, Tulsa Kitchens Unite provided nearly 9,600 free meals to recipients, and it aims to serve about 30,000 a week in the coming weeks.”

KJRH: Hunger Free Oklahoma launches "Tulsa Kitchens Unite" Program

“Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO) is pairing Tulsa Public Schools sites with locally owned-restaurants to help give free meals to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.”

KFOR: Volunteers push for changes to prevent hunger in Oklahoma

“Group leaders say Oklahoma is one of the hungriest states in the country, and they are hoping to get the attention of some lawmakers to make a permanent change.”

Tulsa World: Chris Bernard: Don’t let fear and misunderstanding surrounding the new Public Charge rule allow families to go hungry

“This rule took effect on Monday. The best thing we can all do now is make sure everyone is equipped with accurate information so no one is going hungry or sick out of fear.”

KFOR: Food banks to advocate for hunger-relief policies during Anti-Hunger Day at state capitol

“As an organization, we spend the entire year collaborating with agencies and elected officials at the local, state and federal level to find the best nutritional outcomes for our state,”

The Oklahoman: No room for pride anymore when you are hungry': Food insecurity in Oklahoma on the rise, assistance programs looking to expand

“Nonprofit organizations believe efficiencies, education and policy changes can reverse the increasing rate.”

KOSU: More Oklahoma Kids Are Eating For Free During Summer

“There’s a lot of us working on continuing these increases year over year,” he said. “It’s important because it makes sure the nearly 400,000 kids who rely on free and reduced lunch have access to enough food during the summer.”

Tulsa World: Chris Bernard of Hunger Free Oklahoma: 'Hunger costs Oklahoma $1.4 billion a year'

“Hunger costs Oklahoma $1.4 billion a year in things like medical costs, loss of workforce productivity and loss of educational opportunities. We know if we met national benchmarks, Oklahoma would bring back an additional $400 million annually to address hunger.”

Miami News-Record: Oklahoma increases summer meal participation by nearly 15 percent

“A report released last week by the Food Research and Action Center shows Oklahoma had the nation’s third-highest increase in summer meal participation from 2017 to 2018 with a 14.9 percent increase, but still ranks last overall.”

Oklahoma Watch: The Invisibles: Coping With a Scarcity of Food

“More than 650,000 Oklahomans, a third of them children, lack reliable access to sufficient food, according to a Hunger Free Oklahoma study.”

Tulsa People: Tulsan of the Year: Judy Kishner

“No one else looked at this issue in this way in Oklahoma,” says Chris Bernard, Hunger Free Oklahoma executive director. “As a state, we’re not doing a good job of connecting federal money to people. Part of our job is to simplify the process for people.” That means connecting organizations that serve individuals, especially families and children…”

Tulsa Public Radio: Proposed SNAP Rule Change Would Not Have Immediate Impact on Oklahoma

“The proposed SNAP rule would not have an immediate impact in Oklahoma. It tightens guidelines for waivers states may request so SNAP recipients get benefits longer than allowed when jobs are hard to come by.”

Tulsa Public Radio: Compromise Farm Bill Sent to President Preserves Food Stamp Benefits for Estimated 97,000 Oklahomans

“A compromise Farm Bill sent to the president late Wednesday will not affect the one in seven Oklahomans receiving food stamps.”

Tulsa World: 121 percent more at-risk kids get after-school suppers, but Oklahoma still feeds fewer than average

“Richard Comeau, program director of Hunger Free Oklahoma, believes the state saw such a dramatic increase between 2016 and 2017 due to an initiative to raise awareness of after-school suppers.”

Watch

Find out about HFO’s Pilot Project. Story by OETA, featuring Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, as well as OSDE and Tahlequah Public Schools.

Watch

Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, speaks on an Oklahoma Watch Out panel on the impact of hunger in Oklahoma.

 

Hunger in the News.

Read news coverage about hunger issues, opportunities, and improvements affecting Oklahomans.

 

News 9: Free, Fresh & Local: New Program Serving Food, Education To Tulsans With Type 2 Diabetes

“In a couple of months, 50 people with Type 2 diabetes and high A1C levels will start receiving a box of fresh food every two weeks for a year as part of a program called Tulsa FreshRX.”

The University Network: College Student Hunger And Homelessness: A Growing Crisis

“In 2020, more than a third of college and university students lost work, more than one in 10 lost a loved one to COVID-19, and nearly 60 percent experienced food or housing insecurity,”

ABC News: US hunger crisis persists, especially for kids, older adults

“America’s yearlong food insecurity crisis has been felt especially sharply by children who lost easy access to free school meals, and older adults who struggled to get groceries or meals at senior centers because they worried about contracting the virus.”

VOA News: Oklahoma Town Eases Pandemic Stress, One Restaurant Meal at a Time

“Cafes in and around the close-knit town in the state’s northeastern corner have put up “receipt walls,” allowing diners to prepay for meals and the needy to grab what they like, have a seat and refuel — judgment-free, no questions asked.”

CBS News: Biden's food-stamp boost comes as 30 million U.S. households go hungry

“Mr. Biden is taking aim at at hunger across the U.S. by moving to provide more funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.”

The Daily Ardmoreite: 'We can make a difference': Food box program reaches thousands of families across Southern Oklahoma in 2020

“Volunteers provided free food to thousands of southern Oklahoma families struggling to make ends meet in 2020.”

The Oklahoman: A 200,000-square-foot kitchen? It's for Mom's Meals, coming to Oklahoma City

“It’s a well-known fact that food insecurity and poor nutrition are associated with several chronic illnesses that put people at higher risk for more severe complications of COVID-19,”

KFOR: Northeast Oklahoma City church community to give out free produce

Some of the fresh food from Crest Foods will be handed out to hundreds of families this weekend, and it all started with a Facebook giveaway.

KFOR: Oklahoma WIC applications available online

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program has implemented an online application for new and existing clients in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19.”

NY Times: ‘Never Thought I Would Need It’: Americans Put Pride Aside to Seek Aid

With coronavirus-related job losses, many workers are reluctantly seeking charity and unemployment benefits for the first time in their lives.

The Oklahoman: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: USDA allows all Oklahoma school districts to give free meals

A new federal waiver will open free school meals to students statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only in high-need areas of Oklahoma. The USDA approved the waiver to give free breakfast and lunch to students in school districts that don’t serve as many underprivileged children.

The Oklahoman: OKC school meal plan a 'perfect picture' of community

Rather than distributing the sacks weekly, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma delivered eight weekends worth of food in one afternoon for the school district’s neediest children.

Tulsa World: Area schools begin free meal pickup, materials for home-bound learning because of COVID-19

Thousands of kids went back to school across Tulsa on Monday, but the doors were locked and classes were not in session.

Supermarket News: USDA’s SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot expands to second state

Extending a pilot with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Walmart and Amazon have launched an online grocery service for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries in Washington.

Pauls Valley Democrat: Child nutrition looks for sponsors

The 2020 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is looking for new and returning sponsors. SFSP, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program administered by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), provides nutritious meals at no charge to children during the summer, when school is not in session.

Fox 61: New SNAP regulation leads to food insecurity on college campuses

Access to SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, is getting more strict this year. It’s left one demographic even more at risk.

Pressroom

For media inquiries, contact Katie Maxey-Marvel, Communications Coordinator, katie.marvel@hungerfreeok.org, 918.568.1137

Hunger Free Oklahoma awarded USDA GusNIP grant to expand Double Up Oklahoma program

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 (TULSA, OK) – Hunger Free Oklahoma was awarded a $500,000 matching grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to expand Double Up Oklahoma in farmers markets across the state and to pilot a grocery store program in rural Oklahoma.

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