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Ladder of Youth Voice

YAC is an intergenerational approach to authentic youth engagement and we follow the Ladder of Youth Voice, adopted by Adam Fletcher. The lowest levels of the ladder represent programs with youth who are not able to make decisions on the projects they work on, the activities they do, and can appear to be in token roles. The highest levels of the ladder represent programs with youth who are leading projects, making decisions, practicing conflict resolution, and embodying a youth-driving atmosphere. We strive for youth/adult equity in our Youth Action Council program at Hunger Free Oklahoma.

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A graph showing the prevalence of food insecurity in households with children, 2001-22.

Hunger Free Oklahoma Releases Statement on USDA’s 2022 Household Food Security in the United States Report

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its 2022 Household Food Security in the United States report this week. The USDA report shows a national increase in food insecurity rates, and state-level data reports Oklahoma’s food insecurity rate is higher than the national average.

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Happy family sharing food

Oklahoma Schools Can Prevent Household Hunger

While hunger and soaring prices continue to affect Oklahomans, SNAP offers a multi-generational intervention with a track record for improving food security.

Because schools have the data and relationships to connect families to food resources, they are uniquely positioned to reach and improve food security for many of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable families.

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Hunger Free Oklahoma’s Chief Program Officer Richard Comeau is Awarded an Aspen Institute Food Leaders Fellowship

Richard Comeau, Chief Program Officer for Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO), was recently welcomed to Aspen, Colorado, where he began his tenure as a Food Leaders Fellow of the Aspen Institute. The 2023 Food Leaders Fellows include entrepreneurs, investors, and civic and nonprofit leaders dedicated to changing the food system to eradicate food and nutrition insecurity, support entrepreneurs and farmers, and push forward sustainable solutions.

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Filling the Summer Food Gap: Maximizing Summer Meals for All

Summer is a time for sunshine, friends, and fun, but when food is limited, it can be a huge stress for families. During the school year, breakfast and lunch are available to students, but they lose critical access to meals when schools are out. Summer meal programs can help families fill the food gap and engage the community.

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A group of diverse schoolchildren eat lunch together.

Fueling Success: Navigating Back-to-School Season with Food Resources

As the last days of summer fade away and the whispers of autumn begin to emerge, it is that time of year again — back-to-school season. Beyond the flurry of buying new backpacks and fresh notebooks, the transition from vacation mode to school mode brings with it a renewed focus on routines and responsibilities.

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People shopping at a farmers market with a large sign that says We Welcome SNAP Benefits.

SNAP Work Requirements and Exemptions Explained

This year, the most important legislation for addressing food insecurity is being considered by Congress – the Farm Bill. But what is the Farm Bill, really? A bill about farms? Yes, but at a much deeper level than most people might realize.  

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From Farms to Plates: Unveiling the Farm Bill’s Secrets to Tackling Food Insecurity

This year, the most important legislation for addressing food insecurity is being considered by Congress – the Farm Bill. But what is the Farm Bill, really? A bill about farms? Yes, but at a much deeper level than most people might realize.  

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Group of youth standing together in front of a colorful wall.

Youth Are Leaders Now

Nearly two decades ago, when I began working with youth, my responsibilities were to build an afterschool space for kids to have fun, play, eat a snack, and send them on their way home. Each year, I learned a little more about the youth enrolled in my program and how to not only help them, but their whole families.

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Kindergarten children eating packed lunch together

School Meal Forms Are Back: How to Supercharge Your Collection Process

Balanced and secure nutrition contributes to students’ success in and out of the classroom, playing a critical role in their overall health and academic achievement. “Most US children attend school for six hours a day and consume as much as half their daily calories at school.”

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Policy Change is Needed to Ensure Food Security for Active Duty Military

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal nutrition program that helps low-income families. Service members that receive the Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) especially struggle to qualify for SNAP, as BAH counts as income when determining SNAP eligibility. Currently, active-duty military access to SNAP is insufficient, and it is imperative that Congress works towards excluding BAH as income for SNAP eligibility.

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People shopping at a farmers market with a large sign that says We Welcome SNAP Benefits.

Your Local Farmers Market May Help with Rising Food Costs

As every parent feeding a child knows, food prices are rising at historic rates.  
In 2022, the price of grocery store or supermarket food purchases increased by 11.4 percent, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. Food prices are expected to grow more slowly in 2023, but still at above-historical rates. In 2023, grocery prices are predicted to increase 7.8 percent.  

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HFO Staff Connect with Libraries

by Alissa Snider, Hunger Outreach Program Specialist Earlier this month, HFO team members joined the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA) annual conference in Norman. During this two-day event, HFO staff engaged with public, school-based, and university library staff about opportunities to address hunger in their communities. HFO had the opportunity to share ways to get connected […]

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A Carnival of Caring: 2023’s Summer Meals Kickoff

by Eric Barr, Hunger Outreach Program Specialist “Tons of information and opportunities to learn and connect!” – Summer Meals Kickoff Attendee The Oklahoma Childhood Food Security Coalition’s 2023 Summer Meals Kickoff, presented by Oklahoma Complete Health and Williams, was one for the ages! Thank you to all the participants, presenters, and sponsors.   Due to the […]

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The Most Important Meal: 2022 School Breakfast Report Released

by Katie Raymond, Regional Program Manager As a Hunger Free Oklahoma newsletter subscriber, you’re getting an advance look at the 2022 Oklahoma School Breakfast Report!  The report features three Oklahoma school districts that operate Breakfast After the Bell models, sharing their stories and advice for optimizing the program for different schools’ needs and preferences. The […]

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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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Working together for a hunger free Oklahoma.

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