OKLAHOMA CITY – The annual Feeding Oklahoma Drive kicks off Oct. 1 with the goal of raising funds for the one in six Oklahomans living with food insecurity. The month-long drive is presented by Cherokee Nation Businesses, Chickasaw Nation Headquarters and Marathon Oil additional sponsors include ONEOK, Mustang Fuel and Dolese Bros. Co. The drive benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

“Hunger is a reality in our state,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “The Feeding Oklahoma Drive provides an opportunity for businesses and individuals to shine a light on the issue of hunger and raise food and funds for our neighbors who live with hunger every day.”

For more information or to sign up to participate in the food and fund drive, visit www.feedingoklahoma.org. All donations are tax deductible and will assist the Regional Food Bank and the Community of Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, known together as the Oklahoma Food Banks, and their community-based partner agencies.

“We are so grateful for the many businesses and supporters of this state-wide food drive. Hunger anywhere in Oklahoma hurts the entire state,” said Rochelle Dowdell, director of philanthropy and communications for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “This drive is one of many efforts to renew the lives of so many Oklahomans who struggle to put food on the table. Working together we can lift all Oklahomans so they can reach their potential.”

In Oklahoma, more than 620,000 residents are living with food insecurity. The majority of clients served by the Oklahoma Food Banks are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

The Regional Food Bank covers a service-area of 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma and in the past fiscal year distributed more than 51 million pounds of food through a network of nearly 1,300 charitable feeding programs and schools.

Last year the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributed more than 28.9 million pounds of food and products, 40 percent of which was fresh produce. The Food Bank’s network of 730 partner agencies and direct programs includes: emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, disaster relief, child and senior feeding programs and veteran’s initiatives throughout 24 eastern Oklahoma counties.

The Oklahoma Food Banks are part of the Feeding America network of more than 200 food banks throughout the United States.