FAQ’s for Agency Resource Center

1. How much does the Food Bank charge for its food?
Member agencies do not purchase food from the Food Bank, rather they are partnering with the Food Bank through a Shared Maintenance Fee (SMF) which helps defray a part of the cost for soliciting, collecting, storing, shipping, distributing and in some cases, repackaging the millions of pounds of food and nonfood items we make available to our member agencies each year. Though the standard Shared Maintenance fee is 16 cents per pound, some types of food, such as produce and bakery, are totally underwritten by the Food Bank. In addition, there is no Shared Maintenance fee on any of the USDA items.

2. What is the USDA commodity program and is my program become eligible for it?
USDA food is supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture farm surplus commodity program. To be eligible for USDA commodities, an agency must be an emergency response program such as an emergency pantry, crisis placement shelter or soup kitchen feeding the homeless.

3. How much food do I give a client in need?
Ideally you would give enough food for each member of the household to have 3 meals a day for four to five days. Please see the chart here for additional information.

4. What is my service area?
The agency determines the area they will serve with the approval of the Food Bank.

5. How can we work with other agencies in our area to have equitable distribution of services?
We suggest you set up a meeting with the other agencies in your area to discuss the services provided by each agency, the possibility of establishing a shared data base and other means of cooperating within the service area. Staff in Agency Services would be happy to work with you in any way to help establish connections with the other agencies in your area.

6. What happens at a monitor visit?
Food Bank monitor visits are conducted by volunteers or staff who look at food storage and preparation areas, records and your operational procedures. These monitor visits are conducted every two years. Prior to the monitor visit, the agency will receive a packet of materials to be reviewed, completed and returned to the monitor during the visit.

7. How does the Food Bank get its food?
The Food Bank receives food from a number of different sources. The donated food may come through Feeding America, wholesalers, or manufacturers, either local or regional. In addition, staple food items such as peanut butter, tuna, cereal, etc. are purchased by the Food Bank and made available as a convenience to our member agencies.

8. Is my organization eligible to become a Food Bank partner?
The organization must be a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)3 status or a church to be eligible for Food Bank membership. For additional information, please contact the Agency Services department at 918‐585‐2800.

9. Do I need an appointment to shop?
No. You can come in any weekday morning at our Tulsa distribution center 8:30am‐noon and Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon 1:00pm‐3:00 p.m. Our McAlester branch is open for shopping on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Thursdays 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.; Pick-up hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

10. What do expiration/best by dates mean? Can I still use the product after the date on the package?

Food Product Dating

Shelf Life Reference guide

11. Why should I bother reporting issues with product I receive?
We are always interested in correcting any problems with the product we distribute and we can only correct problems if we know about them. If you have a problem with product received from us, please contact Ron Moton 918-936-4519 rmoton@okfoodbank.org

12. What documentation does the Food Bank require as part of the intake process?
For a pantry program, clients must supply a picture ID and proof of address. For an on‐site program, there is no documentation required by the Food Bank, though your agency may have internal requirements for documentation. Please be aware that the Food Bank does not require Social Security numbers on client intake forms.

13. What is Community Cuisine?
Community Cuisine is product that has been prepared in the Food Bank’s Culinary Center or repackaged into suitable sizes at our facility.

14. Why does the Food Bank purchase food?
The Food Bank purchases popular, in demand items that may not donated to the Food Bank on a regular basis.

15. How come the Food Bank doesn’t deliver to my agency?
The Food Bank doesn’t provide direct delivery to individual agencies. For agencies outside the Tulsa area, we regularly deliver to thirteen centralized delivery locations through our Rural Delivery Service. For agencies in the southern part of the Food Bank’s service area, the McAlester branch location may be a convenient location to pick up your order. (Please add link to RDS schedules by City and by Day)

16. Why do I have to send a report each month?
It is important for the Food Bank to be able to assess the effectiveness of our joint efforts with our member agencies to provide food to those in need in eastern Oklahoma. It also helps us keep up to date on changes in circumstance with our member agencies and their communities.

17. Why do I have to have a food handler’s permit, especially for a pantry program?
Food safety training ensures the safety and integrity of the food you distribute to your clients. The Food Bank can arrange for food safety training for your pantry program. In some counties, the Health Department may offer periodic food handler training which also meets the requirement. This is also a contractual requirement with Feeding America, our umbrella organization.

18. What records should I be keeping and for how long?
All agencies keep Food Bank invoices for four years. Pantry programs keep client intake forms for four years. On‐site programs keep assistance records such as meal counts as appropriate.

19. What is Feeding America?
Feeding America (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest) is the largest national hunger relief organization in the US. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is one of approximately 200 Food Banks throughout the US that are members of Feeding America.

20. Who do we call when we have a problem or a question?
Click here for the contact list.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.