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Behind the scenes look of where each food donation goes at the community food bank

Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 07:04:55-05

TULSA, Okla. — As our Food 2 Families drive kicks off this morning for the 19th year, in partnership with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, we paid a visit to their facility to see what happens to each donation.

Each food item collected at the drive and at Reasors locations across Green Country will go directly to the food bank's warehouse in north Tulsa.

Once there, the food will go to a room where volunteers sort through each item and make sure it's within the expiration date and safe to eat. They group them by category and package them before it all goes into the food bank's inventory on the shelves.

Then, it is ready to be picked up by more than the 350 partner agencies, including churches, soup kitchens and food pantries.

"If I didn't have this, there would be no way for me to do what I do for the communities," says Kathy Garza, the director of Heaven Sent Food Pantry.

She and a team of volunteers from First Assembly of God in Skiatook come weekly to load up their van with food and fresh fruit and vegetables as needed.

Then, they take the items back to their food pantry, which opens to the public on Thursday afternoons. They serve up to 50 or more people every week.

"Every family that comes through there is struggling to meet the needs just basic needs, so this helps so much," says Garza.

This holiday season is especially busy for the food bank to keep up with the need across northeast Oklahoma.

"Sometimes we run low on some of the high need items that our agencies have. Those are typically items like protein, peanut butter, canned tuna, canned chicken, things like that," says Greg Raskin, the communications manager for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

If you would like to donate any nonperishable food items, our Food 2 Families drive is running until December 15 at all 19 Reasors locations across Green Country. There will be drop off boxes at each store.

Also, they will have pre-made bags for $15 you can donate, or you can purchase a donation card with any amount.

Last year, our collections drive brought in a total of $151,826 and 5,917 bags of food.

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