On the finish of the federal program, the Oklahoma Meals Banks will take over the provide
A federal program to offer affordable meals to individuals through food banks is slated to end this month, which could severely curtail the supply of affordable meals to providers.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has received boxes of fresh produce, meat, dairy products and more through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) since the end of May. By the end of November, the nonprofit had received more than £ 5 million, or 294,620 boxes, through the program.
“Helping us meet this growing need in our state has been an amazing gift,” said Stacy Dykstra, CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
According to a food bank spokesman, the demand for affordable meals has increased by around 30% since the pandemic began.
While demand is not expected to wane by the end of the year, the final shipment of CFAP will arrive at Oklahoma food banks on December 23rd.
The CFAP program was funded by the CARES federal law, which expires at the end of the year. The federal legislature could expand the program in a new aid package. However, nothing was passed on.
Dykstra said expanding the program or temporarily adding to other food access programs such as SNAP could help communities prevent hunger and stimulate local economies.
“It keeps farmers working, stimulates our economies, and makes sure people don’t go to bed hungry,” she said.
In November, the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank distributed the equivalent of 3.6 million meals, according to a spokesman.
Anyone looking for help finding a meal can visit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma website or call 405-972-1111.