Community Food Bank Dedicating New Food Distribution Center

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma supporters will gather today to formally dedicate the Food Bank’s new home – the Donald W. Reynolds Food Distribution Center. Steve Anderson, President of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Michelle Hale, representing Gov. Brad Henry’s office, Jabar Shumate, Oklahoma State Representative, along with many of the Capital contributors that made the new Food Bank possible will be on hand for the event, scheduled for 2 p.m. at 1304 N. Kenosha Avenue in North Tulsa.
A Capital Campaign Cabinet, led by Scott Dickman, Pinnacle Packaging CEO, and Ken Levit, Executive Director, George Kaiser Family Foundation, worked for nearly a year to raise more than $13 million for the facility. A lead grant of $10,276,028 was received in early 2004 from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, for whom the facility will be named. The remaining funds were donated by other community philanthropists and organizations including lead gifts from the Helmerich Foundation, Henry Zarrow, George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Oxley Foundation.
“The completion of this facility is a huge step forward toward carrying out the vision and mission of the Food Bank, and having the largest impact possible on solving the problem of food insecurity and hunger in Eastern Oklahoma.,” said Sara Waggoner, Food Bank Executive Director. “We cannot possibly thank the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation enough as well as the others in the Eastern Oklahoma area that made this building possible.”
The new, state-of-the-art facility opened for business on June 6, 2006. The building boasts 78,520 square-feet of space – nearly three times larger than the Food Bank’s former facility. This added space will allow the Food Bank to double the amount of food it can distribute from 10 million pounds to 20 million pounds. “There have been years that we’ve not been able to take as much as two million pounds of donated food because we didn’t have the space to store it before distribution,” Waggoner said. “Now, no donation will ever have to be turned down again.” The additional space will also allow for expanded programs, a public resource library, more space for volunteers to assist the Food Bank and on- site nutritional training and meal preparation.
An exciting feature of the facility is a 2,200 square foot commercial kitchen and training center, which will allow the Food Bank to prepare its own meals for delivery to feeding programs. Waggoner said that between new and expanded programming and the ability to accept all offered donations, the Food Bank could raise its total distribution from 10 million pounds per year to as much as 20 million.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is a private, nonprofit organization that envisions food security with dignity for all Eastern Oklahomans. The Food Bank solicits and stores donated food and grocery items and distributes them to more than 440 nonprofit Partner Programs, which feed 50,000 people weekly throughout 24 Eastern Oklahoma counties. In fiscal year 2005, the Food Bank distributed nearly 10 million pounds of food to its partner programs.

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