The Center on Hunger and Poverty ranks Oklahoma number 1 in the nation for people experiencing hunger.
The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will now be able to help more people by moving to a new, and much larger, facility. News on 6 anchor Craig Day says the new building is ready and folks at the food bank couldn't be more excited.
It is moving day at the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. This is the non-profit group's new home. Neil Cather-Dieterly with Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma: "This building has been in the planning stages for the last decade. It's been a dream for everyone here at the food bank."
It's a dream because the Food Bank will now be able to help more people thanks to the new facility.
The state of the art food distribution facility is 78,000 square feet. That means three times as much warehouse space compared to the current warehouse. "It will be a huge difference. In the past, we've had to turn away thousands and thousands of pounds of food because we didn't have the space to store it."
The new facility also has a commercial grade kitchen and a 2,200 square foot culinary center where nutrition classes can be held.
The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma serves 24 counties in this part of the state. They provide food to 440 partner feeding programs in a number of different communities. Food is distributed to places like the Salvation Army and other shelters and food pantries.
Right now, the food bank sends out 10-million pounds of food each year to people in need. With the new facility, they expect to double that to 20-million pounds annually.
Volunteers and employees at the food bank are working to get everything in place at the new facility. They hope to raise 3-million pounds of food to fill the warehouse by National Hunger Awareness Day on June 6th.