Hunger Free, 2020 ONE Awards Finalist
Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will host the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards on Thursday, August 27, 2020 (rescheduled from Friday, April 24, 2020). The event will now take place virtually. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the 21 finalists in seven categories.
Hunger Free Oklahoma, located in Tulsa, is one of three finalists in the Open Category. Founded in 2016, Hunger Free has helped feed some of the over 200,000 (1 in 5) Oklahoma children who do not get the food they need to live healthy lives.
“We are honored to be a ONE Award finalist for 2020,” said Chris Bernard, executive director, Hunger Free Oklahoma. “The fact that OKCNP has named Hunger Free Oklahoma a finalist shows that our approach is making an impact, that it is being recognized, and most importantly shows all of those working every day to end hunger in Oklahoma that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.”
According the Hunger Free website, “hunger costs Oklahoma over $1.4 billion each year through increased illness and decreased academic achievement.” Their programs focus on collaboration with nonprofits, schools and government agencies by providing research, so they may advocate for policies that will implement practices to solve hunger issues.
“Our focus on collaboration and systems change is not simple and is not easily understood, but nonetheless our staff and partners work tirelessly to make it happen so that our state’s most vulnerable have access to enough food every day,” said Bernard. “We are grateful to OKCNP, to our partners in the public and private sectors, to our funders, and everyone that understands that we must change the status quo in order to make an impact.”
In 2018, Hunger Free provided assistance to those seeking technical support, trained over 100 individuals in SNAP outreach and established 48 locations for SNAP enrollment assistance. They have developed a summer meals map identifying locations across the state that provide summer meals at no cost to children, as well advocating to protect federal nutrition programs.
Hunger Free continues to provide food security to Oklahoma children through their community partnerships with community organizations.
“Hunger Free Oklahoma has made a tremendous impact on the state of Oklahoma since its founding,” said Katrina Lewis, community nutrition manager, Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services. “The summer food program in particular has seen an increase in participation ensuring more children have access to healthy meals during the summer. Hunger free Oklahoma has connected diverse stakeholders to align and support innovative solutions to serve our most vulnerable population.”
To learn more about Hunger Free Oklahoma, visit their website: https://hungerfreeok.org/
The Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards gala is dedicated to honoring the outstanding work of Oklahoma nonprofits statewide. The ONE Awards also serves as the primary fundraising event for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Proceeds from the ONE Awards enable OKCNP to serve communities throughout Oklahoma.
To learn more about the 2020 ONE Awards or to purchase tickets, visit: https://www.oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org/connect/one-awards/