Our Advocacy Statement
The Oklahoma Food Banks are committed to advocating for programs and policies that promote adequate access to nutritious food for all Oklahomans. Since 2007, the Oklahoma Food Banks have more than doubled their annual distribution, distributing 68.6 million pounds in FY 2014 – the equivalent of more than 57 million meals. With 1 in 6 Oklahomans living below the poverty line, the demand continues to increase. Therefore, the Oklahoma Food Banks support the protection and strengthening of the following programs and policies:
We support funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which helps food banks provide nutritious food to low-income Oklahomans in need of short-term hunger relief.
• TEFAP commodities provided 8.5 million pounds to Oklahoma Food Banks in 2014.
• Oklahoma Food Banks experienced a 30% decrease in TEFAP commodities from 2013 to 2014.
We support protecting and strengthening federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants & Children).
• More than 900,000 Oklahomans received SNAP benefits in 2014, receiving approximately $4/day.
• Half of all infants born in Oklahoma enroll in WIC.
• Last year SNAP and WIC injected more than $1 billion in to the Oklahoma economy.
We support nutrition programs for seniors such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
• There are currently just under 3,000 of Oklahoma’s seniors enrolled in CSFP.
• 85,000 (15.4 %) Oklahoma seniors face the threat of hunger.
We support increased access to healthy and affordable food options for all Oklahomans in their communities.
• 32 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties are food deserts.
• Oklahoma consistently ranks among the lowest states in consumption of fruits and vegetables.
• Oklahoma is ranked as the 5th most obese state.
We support food donation tax reductions that reduce donation barriers and decrease food waste.
• As much as 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten.
• 35 million tons of food were wasted in 2012.
We support increased participation in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
• 436,000 (62%) of Oklahoma public school students participate in the free & reduced meal program.
• Of those 436,000 students, only half receive free and reduced school breakfast.
We support increased participation in summer meals through the Summer Food Service Program.
• Oklahoma ranks 51st in the nation in the percentage of eligible students served summer meals.
• Average daily attendance for summer feeding was 17,000 students during summer 2014.
We support increased access to after school meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
• In Oklahoma, almost 39 million meals were served through this program last year.
• Average daily attendance in Oklahoma was 52,000 in 2014.
We support increased economic stability for Oklahoma households by ensuring jobs that lead to economic self-reliance are available and accessible to all Oklahomans.
• Oklahoma has the 4th highest share of lowest paying jobs in the nation.
• Just over 67,000 Oklahomans worked full-time at or near $7.25/hour between 2008 and 2012.