Collaboration is the foundation of Hunger Free Oklahoma’s work and mission. We know hunger is a solvable problem but only if all stakeholders have a seat at the table. Oklahoma benefits from the tireless work of nonprofits, schools, and state and local government agencies working to address hunger. This work often happens in silos and often represents a small part of their overall mission. This frequently results in organizations operating in isolation, limiting impact and effectiveness.
Hunger Free Oklahoma works to facilitate communication amongst diverse stakeholders, knocking down barriers to collaboration, and helping organizations work outside of their respective silos. HFO supports statewide coalitions with information and resources, works at the local level to bring community stakeholders together to address local hunger issues, and works with public and private partners in research, policy, and practice. By keeping collaboration at the heart of our work we ensure that our efforts are useful, impactful, scalable, and sustainable.
Hunger Free Oklahoma serves as a voice for those experiencing hunger in our state and those who seek to address it. HFO will advocate at the local, state, and national level to implement best practices, expand and create anti-hunger resources, and improve access to existing programs. HFO will work to educate legislators, school administrators, and government officials about the impact of hunger on Oklahoma, the resources that exist to solve hunger, and the policies that could be implemented to end it. Starting with our work in school districts to promote underutilized resources and expanding to highlight the importance of child hunger programs in state government, HFO will continue to bring a unified voice to hunger in Oklahoma.
Policies at every level of government and within private organizations can have an impact on hunger. Hunger Free Oklahoma actively works with stakeholders to provide research and support in identifying new policies that will remove barriers and increase access to food and nutrition programs. Beginning with our recent comment on the Every Student Succeeds Act and white paper “Addressing Hunger In Schools,” HFO is working with a broad array of partners to make sure that Oklahoma hunger policy makes an impact across the state.
Great work is being done across the state and across the nation to address hunger, but without quantifying the problem, measuring impact, and documenting success, that work may never be replicated. Hunger Free Oklahoma sees value in data driven decision making, assessing what has worked, and using research to create evidence-based models for ending complex hunger issues. Through research we can better understand the impacts of hunger on our state but also the best practices and resources required to end hunger. Beginning with our recently released report “Ending Hunger in Oklahoma,” HFO will produce research to drive our work and support partners across the state as they work to reduce food insecurity.
Research, Policy, and Advocacy are important components of solving hunger. However, without proper implementation, even the most well-devised policy will not be impactful. HFO aims to be a resource providing technical assistance to ensure that everyone in our communities has the information and tools to make an impact on hunger. HFO will facilitate communication and collaboration to ensure buy-in at every level. Hunger Free Oklahoma has begun this work with schools to maximize the benefit of the Community Eligibility Provision and improve the impact of innovative breakfast after the bell models. Hunger Free Oklahoma will continue to provide technical assistance and work with partners to make sure that there are tools for addressing all aspects of hunger in Oklahoma.