Our most consistent and regular focus of nonprofit work has been with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for a handful of reasons. Chief among them:
- Hunger is an enormous problem in Oklahoma. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 21.4% of Oklahomans experienced food insecurity in that year. This is considerably greater than the 18.2% national average.
- Many of those people are children. According to the Food Bank, one in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger daily.
- The Regional Food Bank has a lot of really excellent programs —like the Backpack Program, Kids Café, Summer Feeding Program, and School Pantry Program— already in place that enable enthusiastic volunteers to help out directly. (Read on below to hear about some ways that you can help out!)
So we were obviously very excited to get another opportunity to sponsor shopping trips with a few Oklahoma City-area families in need of some extra help this spring. We called up the Food Bank who got in touch with some coordinators of their Food For Kids program, and through them we got to meet three families that they deemed deserving of some aid. We got to talk with them and found out that they’d been through some terrible hardships including the loss of close family members, stolen property, and limited incomes.
Out of respect for these three families’ privacy, we didn’t take any photos of them or use their names, but we did take some pictures of some QuiBids employees doing that thing we love to do: Bring on the Fun. We decorated some shopping carts and got to hang out with some super-cool kids while we helped their parents with their grocery shopping.
Josh got a little too carried away with some of the décor.
Tony spruced up the checkout lane before the families got there!
I got in there and snuck a photo of us doing some shopping with one of the families.
Then it was time for checkout.
When it was time to load up their cars and say goodbye, we helped out with that.
And we were sure to snag a group pic when it was all over.
I spoke briefly with Angie Gaines, who works as the director of marketing and communications for the Regional Food Bank and she told me that there were a lot of things that QuiBids customers could do to partner with us, even if they don’t live in Oklahoma. She said that they’ve got a bunch of programs running right now and are always needing volunteers. You only have to be 8 years old or older to volunteer in the actual food bank, so it’s a pretty great family activity (if you want to get a sense of what it’s like you might check out the Food Bank’s Flickr account)! You can also donate directly at the food bank’s website and/or sign up for their emails to stay informed about issues affecting the hungry in Oklahoma.
If you’re not from Oklahoma then keep your eyes peeled for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which is scheduled for May 11 this year. Learn more about that here, but the gist of it is that the country’s letter carriers will put sacks in your mailbox that you can fill up with food, which they’ll in turn collect.
Photos by Erik Gause
More about QuiBids’ charitable work:
PHOTOS: QuiBids sponsors Pros for Africa nonprofit fundraiser
You guys raised more than $7,000 with our Sandy Hook/Hurricane Sandy relief auctions!
PHOTOS: QuiBids’ canned food drive for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s Walk for Wishes