First new full-size supermarket in decades for OKC's east side to open Wednesday

August 31, 2021 – “Homeland and Hunger Free OK are setting up the Lincoln Boulevard store to be the first in Oklahoma City to offer the nonprofit’s Double Up Oklahoma Program, which matches SNAP (also known as food stamps) dollar for dollar with DUO Bucks redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables (up to $20/day).”

Nonprofit Fighting Hunger In Oklahoma Applauds Biden Administration For SNAP Benefits Increase

August 17, 2021 – “Oklahoma families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits stand to receive 25% more than they did before the pandemic starting in October thanks to action by the Biden administration.”

A community-made oasis brings hope to a Tulsa food desert

August 4, 2021 – “Hunger Free Oklahoma, a Tulsa based organization, is working with Oasis Fresh Market to try to implement their Double Up Oklahoma program, which augments the money spent on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases with DUO Bucks to be used for fresh produce.”

Federal emergency SNAP benefits extended through end of 2021 in Oklahoma

May 21, 2021 – “This solution is the extension of a lifeline for Oklahoma families so they can continue to put food on the table as they continue to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.”

As Oklahoma food insecurities continue, so does the work to combat the problem

July 21, 2021 – Hunger Free Oklahoma is piloting a new dollar for dollar matching program which could also be a big game changer – it’s called Double Up Oklahoma.

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…

For media inquiries, contact Michelle Brobston, Director of Operations,  michelle.brobston@hungerfreeok.org, 918-340-8706

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.

KOSU: Perry, Okla. grocery store latest to double SNAP benefits for fruits and vegetables through pilot program

“The Homeland grocery store in Perry is the latest to get involved with Hunger Free Oklahoma’s Double Up Oklahoma program, which adds matching money to buy fruits and vegetables for shoppers who use the USDA’s SNAP program.”

NTAE: GusNIP Project Feature: Hunger Free Oklahoma - Richard Comeau, Program Director

“In 2020, Hunger Free Oklahoma was awarded a $500,000 GusNIP matching grant for Double Up Oklahoma programs in farmers markets across the state and to pilot a grocery store program in rural Oklahoma.”

The Oklahoman: First new full-size supermarket in decades for OKC's east side to open Wednesday

“Homeland and Hunger Free OK are setting up the Lincoln Boulevard store to be the first in Oklahoma City to offer the nonprofit’s Double Up Oklahoma Program, which matches SNAP (also known as food stamps) dollar for dollar with DUO Bucks redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables (up to $20/day).”

KFOR: $650,000 grant awarded to help feed Oklahomans in need

“The grant worth $650,000 helps the Double Up Oklahoma program at 27 farmers markets and grocery stores. The program offers a dollar for dollar match on SNAP purchases for fruits and vegetables at participating stores.”

Public Radio Tulsa: Nonprofit Fighting Hunger In Oklahoma Applauds Biden Administration For SNAP Benefits Increase

“Oklahoma families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits stand to receive 25% more than they did before the pandemic starting in October thanks to action by the Biden administration.”

Duncan Banner: Farmers Market to supply fresh produce to community this autumn

“If a SNAP recipient customer comes to The Market HUB or The Duncan Farmers Market, we can match their SNAP benefits up to $20 per day,” Eubanks said. “The SNAP recipient receives silver DUO (Double Up Oklahoma) tokens each valued at $1.”

Christian Science Monitor: A community-made oasis brings hope to a Tulsa food desert

“Hunger Free Oklahoma, a Tulsa based organization, is working with Oasis Fresh Market to try to implement their Double Up Oklahoma program, which augments the money spent on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases with DUO Bucks to be used for fresh produce.”

ABC 7: Altus United Supermarket introduces supplemental food program

“A supplemental food program is coming to Altus United Supermarket called Double Up Oklahoma. The program helps SNAP and food stamp recipients by matching dollar for dollar up to 20 dollars a day in additional produce.”

FOX 25: As Oklahoma food insecurities continue, so does the work to combat the problem

“Hunger Free Oklahoma is piloting a new dollar for dollar matching program which could also be a big game changer – it’s called Double Up Oklahoma.”

Journal Record: Journal Record honors Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs, CFOs

“2021 overall winners were T.W. Shannon (private company) and Chris Bernard (nonprofit).”

Journal Record: Initiative gets more fruits, veggies on tables in rural Oklahoma

“Hunger Free Oklahoma’s program is working to move Double Up Oklahoma’s efforts into grocery stores.”

KOCO: Federal emergency SNAP benefits extended through end of 2021 in Oklahoma

“Officials announced an agreement to extend federal emergency SNAP benefits in Oklahoma through the end of 2021.”

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.”

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.

 

Tulsa World: Pandemic Benefits for free, reduced school lunches finally go out

“The wait is almost over for Oklahoma families looking for their students’ 2020-2021 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits.”

KFOR: Oklahoma City woman helps fight hunger, feeds homeless people every week

“Every Saturday, you will find Dickson cooking in the kitchen at The Needs Foundation. She spends several hours by the stove, then delivers the meals to about 120 people at The Homeless Alliance in Downtown Oklahoma City.”

Enid News & Eagle: Loaves & Fishes raising food insecurity awareness, promoting community involvement during Hunger Action Month

“Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma is striving to raise awareness about food insecurity in the community during the month of September, which is Hunger Action Month.”

Stillwater News Press: PIONEER PRIDE: Free meals at SPS – how it works

“Universal free meals eliminate hurdles related to school meals. Families do not need to enroll in meal programs or accrue meal debt. Families who are reluctant to apply don’t have to worry about sharing their household information.”

The Counter: College students who experience food insecurity graduate at half the rate of their peers

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that being hungry makes it harder for college students to thrive. But while the sharp increase in campus hunger has been well documented in recent years, policy experts have had little idea until now just how much food insecurity impacts the odds that a student will actually graduate.”

Center for American Progress: 5 Details About the Largest Increase to SNAP Benefits in the Program’s History

“In October 2021, millions of people who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see an increase to the benefits that help them feed themselves and their families. This change was made possible by a seemingly obscure process: the reevaluation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan.”

The Counter: Colleges rush to sign students up for food stamps, as pandemic rules expand eligibility

“Under the new law’s temporary provisions, any student who has an expected family contribution of zero on their federal financial aid report can now apply for [SNAP]. Students can also apply if they are eligible for a work-study program, even if they haven’t enrolled.”

The Conversation: The US is taking a bite out of its food insecurity – here’s one way to scrap the problem altogether

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to permanently increase the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by 25% above pre-pandemic levels in October 2021.”

US Census: Household Pulse Survey Collected Responses Just Before and Just After the Arrival of the First CTC Checks

“A drop in the number of households with children that reported food insufficiency and trouble paying household expenses may be linked to the child tax credit checks issued last month, according to new Household Pulse Survey (HPS) results.”

USDA: Farmers Markets: Local Partners in the Nutrition Incentive Field

“NIFA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) partners with farmers markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture and mobile markets by providing incentives for fruits and vegetables.”

McAlester News-Capital: McAlester school food services gets creative with van

“Donna Green, child nutrition services director at McAlester Public Schools, said she hopes the smiling faces on the van’s design will be a welcome sign for any students getting food delivered in the coming years.”

The Norman Transcript: Food and Shelter announces plans for food and resource center

“The nonprofit intends to build the planned 8,000-square-foot facility just south of its current Reed Avenue campus on property originally intended to hold low barrier housing.”

KFOR: Free summer meals available at 100 sites across Oklahoma

“According to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, many children lose their most reliable source of meals when schools close for the summer.”

KFOR: Health department announces increase to WIC Program for fruits, vegetables

“The Cash Value Benefit amount will increase from $9 per month to $35 per month per participant beginning June 1, 2021, and continuing through September 30, 2021.”

FOX 23: Food On The Move drive-thru distributions coming to an end, plans to return to in-person events

“During the pandemic, Food on the Move set up a safe drive-thru produce and grocery giveaway. During that time, the group helped provide more than 3.5 million pounds of food and 600,000 individual meals in the Tulsa area.”

KJRH: Oasis Fresh Market opens in north Tulsa after 10-year food desert

“The Oasis Fresh Market is officially open at Pine Ave and Peoria St. The hope is that area will no longer be considered a food desert.”

KTUL: Summer programs for Oklahoma students get funding after COVID school year

“We have children with food insecurity, we have children that have social/emotional disconnection. Those that need extra intervention and mental health support,” Hofmeister said.

KFOR: Long awaited grocery store opens in Northeast Oklahoma City

“The Market at Eastpoint at NE 23rd and Martin Luther King Ave. will officially open its doors Wednesday, April 21. The grocery store has been a long time coming for the northeast Oklahoma City community, which has been without a grocery store for almost two years.”

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.”

Pressroom

For media inquiries, contact Michelle Brobston, Director of Operations, michelle.brobston@hungerfreeok.org, 918.340.8706

Hunger Free Oklahoma Secures USDA Grant to Address Reduced Access to Fruits and Vegetables Due to COVID-19

Monday, August 23, 2021 (Tulsa, OK) – Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Hunger Free Oklahoma was 1 of 35 recipients nationally to be awarded a Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program COVID-19 Relief and Response (GusCRR) grant. 

HFO Applauds USDA for Modernizing SNAP Benefit Amounts for the First Time Since 1975 to More Accurately Reflect Costs of a Healthy Diet

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 (Tulsa, OK) – Hunger Free Oklahoma applauds the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), USDA Secretary Vilsack, and President Biden for implementing the directives of the 2018 Farm Bill by re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) based on current data and economics.

Hunger Free Oklahoma receives $50,000 grant to support SNAP outreach

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 (Tulsa, OK) – Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO) announced today it has received a $50,000 grant from Telligen Community Initiative (TCI), a private, Iowa-based charitable foundation.

Jay Homeland now doubling the value of SNAP for fruits and vegetables

Thursday, May 20, 2021 (JAY, OK) – Delaware County residents won’t have to choose between eating enough and eating healthy thanks to a new program called Double Up Oklahoma (DUO), a nutrition incentive program operated by Hunger Free Oklahoma.

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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