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White House conference

The Work Continues into 2023

We at Hunger Free Oklahoma are reflecting on 2022 with gratitude for you and so many others who continued to press on with us in the movement to end hunger across our state and our nation.

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Traveling Together Toward Food Justice

Over the past few months as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, I have found that when I tell people that I work at Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO), they often ask the same question. “So, do you give people food?” Answering “no” tends to make explaining my job more complicated, but it also provides an opportunity for a conversation about a more holistic view of what anti-hunger work can—and does—look like.  

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Senate Floor

The Elections Are Over: What Now?

The TV ads have stopped. The billboards are coming down. The unsolicited text messages and calls have slowed (or switched topics, at least). The 2022 election season has, largely, come to an end. Aside from this brief reprieve from electioneering, what happens now? Let’s break down what the aftermath of an election looks like and what it means for advocates at every level.

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White House conference

White House Conference Sets the Stage for Anti-Hunger Work

A Reflection from HFO’s Executive Director Chris Bernard On September 28, I had the honor of representing Hunger Free Oklahoma at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the second such conference in history. Attending the conference was an amazing experience. However, I (like many who participated in-person or virtually) have been working […]

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Main Blog

Afterschool Meals Help Fill the Gap

by Kaitlyn Klippert, Hunger Outreach Program Specialist, and Treasure Standeford, Hunger Outreach Program Senior Specialist As summer is officially over and schools across Oklahoma are back in swing, families are looking to the future as autumn is rapidly approaching. While many of us look forward to the coming months of sweaters, pumpkin spice, and cooler […]

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Be a Part of Your School’s Village

by Katie Raymond, Regional Program Manager Even though the sun still burns bright and temps are high, August in Oklahoma means Back-to-School season. Between deals on school supplies and tax-free weekends, this season is geared toward making sure families have what they need to be successful for a new school year. But what about empowering […]

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Soldiers fist bumping

Heroes Shouldn’t Go Hungry

by Eric Barr, SNAP Outreach Coordinator Oklahoma is a very military-friendly state. It offers tax exemptions, employment services, tuition assistance, and other perks to active-duty military and veterans. Despite the favorable policies, out of Oklahoma’s 20,000 active-duty troops, one in four participate in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and roughly 21,000[1] of the 310,000 veterans […]

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HFO Seeks to Partner with Native Communities to Address Hunger

by Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst and Engagement Specialist Even though Native communities experience high rates of hunger and poverty, Native Americans are severely underrepresented in data and discussions about food security (1). Thirty-nine formally recognized Tribes exist in Oklahoma today, and they play important roles in the state’s economic, political, cultural, and structural development. […]

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Thanks for Another Fantastic Summer Meals Kickoff!

by Abby Stainer, Regional Program Manager The Oklahoma Childhood Food Security Coalition’s 2022 Summer Meals Kickoff is officially in the books. Thank you to all participants and presenters! The educational and inspiring four-part virtual series took place on the fourth Thursday of the month from January through April, averaging more than 60 attendants per session […]

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Strawberries for blog photo

Famers Markets Find Success with Double Up Oklahoma

by Leslie Young, Double Up Oklahoma Program Manager According to the United States Department of Agriculture, fifteen percent of Oklahoma households are food-insecure. It’s a staggering percentage, a number that represents the more than 600,000 Oklahomans that don’t have the means or access to adequate food. There are various temporary and permanent reasons for food […]

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Kane Elementary student with lunch

School Breakfast is Important

by Eugenia Chow, Richard Comeau, Jessica Dietrich, Matthew McClure, Katie Raymond, Devin Schroeder, and Taz Shah More than 1 in 5 children in Oklahoma experience food insecurity, meaning they lack adequate nutrition to learn and grow to their fullest potential. Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO) and partners are committed to ensuring more children are fed more […]

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Planting the Seeds of Food Justice

by Sarah Smith-Moore, Hunger Outreach Program Specialist Food is a basic need that every human being deserves but it is also more than that. Food nourishes our bodies, connects us to our families, our neighbors, and our community. We often gather around a table of food for many reasons: holidays, hardships, birthdays, or a night […]

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Looking Ahead into 2022

by Chris Bernard, Executive Director 2021 did not play out in the manner many of us had thought or hoped it would at the beginning of the year. While we were able to get back to some degree of normalcy for part of the year, it was not long until new variants brought about the […]

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Chris Testimony Office

Hunger Free Oklahoma Executive Director Testifies at Congressional House Committee on Rules Roundtable on Rural Hunger

Chris Bernard, Hunger Free Oklahoma’s executive director, was invited to testify at a congressional roundtable, along with four other experts from across the nation, as part of an effort to examine the issue of hunger in rural America. The roundtable, Ending Hunger in America: Food Insecurity in Rural America, was the twelfth event in a […]

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Hunger Free 5th Year anniversary banner

Hunger Free Oklahoma Turns 5!

by Chris Bernard, Executive Director In reflecting on HFO’s five years of work and thinking of how to best sum it up for the newsletter, I struggled. Listing accomplishments and impacts is a perfectly reasonable approach, after all, we have many accomplishments to be proud of – as an organization and as a member of […]

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DUO Lifts Oklahoma Communities, Agriculture, and Lifestyles

by Jessica Dietrich, Policy and Government Relations Manager Oklahoma has some of the poorest health indicators in the nation, ranking 45th overall according to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings 2020 report. The same report ranks Oklahoma 49th in fruit and vegetable consumption and 46th in household food security. There is a significant body […]

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SNAP in Schools Project Expansion

by Candace Pape-Macedo, Senior Manager of SNAP Programs No Kid Hungry and Hunger Free Oklahoma are partnering to expand the Oklahoma SNAP in Schools project. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows eligible individuals and families to stretch their grocery budgets each month. Despite its proven ability to improve household food security, SNAP is underutilized […]

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Improving Food Security: MyHealth Access Network’s Accountable Health Communities Route 66 Consortium

by Candace Pape-Macedo, Senior Manager of SNAP Programs Food insecurity isn’t always easy to spot, but we see its impacts all around us. An inability to consistently meet basic nutritional needs impacts child development1, academic achievement2, workforce performance3, military recruitment and service (national defense)4, family stability and adverse childhood experiences5, individual resilience6, dental health7, emotional8 […]

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Reflecting and Celebrating a New Program at Hunger Free Oklahoma: The SNAP Application Hotline

by Allycia Brimson, Raul Lopez, and Treba Shyers of the HFO SNAP Application Hotline Leadership Reflecting: Everyone everywhere is reflecting on the past year—the pandemic, the struggles, the loss, and the lessons learned. About a year ago we all felt the shock and reality of the COVID-19 crisis. We had questions… • How do we […]

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Healthy Food, Healthy Economies, and Healthy Communities: DUO Wins in Rural Oklahoma

by Richard Comeau, Program Director, Hunger Free Oklahoma Double Up Oklahoma (DUO) is making a difference. In the city of Okemah (Okfuskee County), which has only one full-service grocery store and some of Oklahoma’s worst health indicators, Double Up Oklahoma (DUO) is fulfilling a need. So much so that according to Homeland staff, people are […]

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Crucial relief is on the way thanks to the America Rescue Plan Act

by Jessica Dietrich, Policy and Government Relations Manager, Hunger Free Oklahoma The American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress March 10th, will help the thousands of Oklahomans struggling to put food on the table. According to the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey, Oklahoma’s food scarcity rate, the more extreme end of food insecurity, has been […]

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Breakfast After the Bell: Ensuring All Students are Nourished and Ready to Learn

by Katie Maschino, Hunger Outreach Specialist, Hunger Free Oklahoma We have all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and research consistently proves that eating breakfast is better for our physical and mental health than skipping breakfast altogether. For children, the benefits of eating school breakfast are especially strong. Research […]

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2019 Efforts to End Hunger in Oklahoma: The Highlights

by Chris Bernard, Executive Director The well-known African Proverb says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In the past year, across Oklahoma we have seen this proverb in action to address food insecurity. Oklahoma’s non-profit organizations, tribal nations, government stakeholders, community leaders, and others are […]

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Data-Informed Practices

by Doug McDurham, Director of Public Affairs, Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative Published in 2017, “Ending Hunger in Oklahoma; An assessment of food insecurity and resources in Oklahoma,” included a statewide analysis of the sources of food assistance. According to the authors, my colleagues at the Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), 93% of food assistance in […]

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Working together for a hunger free Oklahoma.

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