Oklahoma Farm Bureau hosts sweet potato pick to benefit hungry Oklahomans
In an effort to fight hunger in the state, more than 150 volunteers picked nearly 30,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to donate to Gov. Mary Fallin’s fourth annual Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive. Oklahoma Farm Bureau teamed up with the Hydro Sweet Potato Company and Caddo County 4-H and FFA to harvest the sweet potatoes near Albert, Okla., Oct. 25.
“The sweet potato pick was a great opportunity for our members to work side-by-side with youth as we help feed those who are less fortunate,” OKFB President Roland Pederson said. “Oklahoma Farm Bureau is proud of our state’s farming and ranching families who work each day to produce a safe and affordable food supply, and we are honored to be able to contribute to the governor’s food drive.”
In addition to the sweet potato donation, county Farm Bureau offices across Oklahoma once again served as food donation drop-off locations for the food drive, which ran until Oct. 31 and benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and their partner agencies across the state.
The Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive kicked off Oct. 1, with the goal of raising 1.4 million meals to help feed hungry families, children, seniors and those affected by the tornadoes this holiday season.
“Time and again, Oklahomans prove to be the most caring and giving individuals in the nation,” Fallin said. “Last year, Oklahomans from all 77 counties came together to surpass our goal of 1.2 million meals, and donated over 2 million meals during the holiday season. This year, we can do even more for the hungry in our state.”
Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top 10 hungriest states in the nation, with more than 675,000 Oklahomans struggling with hunger every day. That number has been on the rise due to the tornado devastation across the state. The Oklahoma food banks provide enough food to feed more than 150,000 people each week with demand increasing during the holiday season.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation continue their efforts to help feed Oklahomans through the Farmers Fighting Hunger campaign. Each year, members bring non-perishable food items to the annual Farm Bureau convention in November. Farm Bureau is also a partner in the Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs programs where nutritional beef and pork sticks are added to hungry children’s backpacks for use on weekends and holidays.