Beyond helping connect Oklahomans with local food products, the Made in Oklahoma Coalition actively fights hunger across the state through its ongoing initiatives.
The Made in Oklahoma Coalition is a membership organization for Oklahoma food and agricultural producers, processors and manufacturers. Its primary goals are to promote brand awareness and consumer loyalty for Oklahoma food and agricultural products through collective marketing.
So it’s a natural extension of its efforts to help address the issues of hunger across Oklahoma, especially in schools.
According to Feeding America, the state has 21.4 percent of its residents lacking adequate money for food, well above the national average of 18.2 percent.
The coalition reports that one in every five children in Oklahoma is at risk of going to bed hungry each night. Of those in Oklahoma who receive benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, nearly half of the recipients are children.
In 2009, the coalition partnered with Orchids Paper Company of Pryor, Okla., to develop a Made in Oklahoma brand of paper towels. Their packaging includes images and lists of products from Oklahoma food companies.
The sale of these paper towel rolls supports the Food for Kids Backpack Program, which is a school-based, emergency assistance program that provides weekly backpacks of food to at-risk children.
And it’s been a major success. Since the program began in 2009, Made in Oklahoma paper towels have generated more than $200,000 to support the backpack program.
To learn more about how you can help combat hunger in Oklahoma by supporting Made in Oklahoma initiatives, visit www.miocoalition.com.