The Food Bank was the first in the nation to have an on-site Culinary Center with a professional kitchen and cooking demonstration area. The Culinary Center prepares nutritious meals from perishable food that would otherwise be discarded. These meals are served on our Mobile Eatery food trucks and also preserved by freezing and distributed by our Partner Programs.
On average, the Culinary Center prepares more than 18,000 pounds of food each month. Over-ripe tomatoes may become pasta sauce, a restaurant’s extra rice may go into a soup, or a grocery store’s left over rotisserie chickens may be used in an entrée. Before our Culinary Center was built, more than 30 percent of perishable food donations went to waste because the Food Bank could not distribute it fast enough. Now less than 5 percent of perishable food donations go to waste because of this program.
In January of 2019, the band Metallica set an attendance record at the BOK Center. Their foundation, All Within My Hands, made a generous donation to the Food Bank, as they do at every stop on their tours. Additionally, their catering crew donated food items which the Culinary Department turned into meals provided to families affected by the federal government shutdown.
For more information on how the Culinary Center makes an impact on our community, check out our programs below or click here for recent videos and articles about our Culinary Center.
Mobile Eatery Food Truck
The Mobile Eatery food truck is just one of the ways we fight hunger in eastern Oklahoma. The Mobile Eatery focuses on summer feeding for children, providing meals during grocery distributions, serving at senior centers and raising funds through events to give back to the Food Bank’s programs.
Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Culinary Trade Program
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Culinary Trade Program is an initiative between the Food Bank and Youth Services of Tulsa designed to provide kitchen skills and experience to at-risk individuals. Participants in the program learn culinary skills such as food preparation, food safety, catering and more.
Cooking Matters classes offer a variety of cooking demonstrations tailored to meet specific needs. The Food Bank collaborates with community partners to educate on topics such as healthy cooking on a budget, heart-healthy recipes and cooking for diabetics.