Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma (Tulsa, OK)

1304 N. Kenosha Avenue, Tulsa, OK

CFBEO is Feeding America’s designated food bank for the twenty-four county region of eastern Oklahoma centered around Tulsa. In 2019, the food bank distributed a record 28.9 million pounds of food.

In 1981, in response to the rising number of people struggling with hunger, Tulsa’s Neighbor for Neighbor feeding program evolved to become the Tulsa Community Food Bank. Operating from a small, donated warehouse space, in year one the food bank provided food assistance to 25 partner agencies and distributed 90,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of 75,000 meals.

In 2006, the Food Bank opened its current facility, the Donald W. Reynolds Food Distribution Center. That year the Food Bank distributed 7.5 million pounds of food, a record at the time.

Since its founding, the food bank has also steadily grown its service area and has continued to expand the scope of its services. Programs include on-site feeding programs, emergency shelters, emergency food pantries, children and senior feeding programs, veterans’ outreach initiatives, disaster relief and other low-income programs that have a meal component. All of these programs provide food free of charge to people who struggle with hunger in the community.

The food bank’s work also includes direct feeding programs such as Cooking Matters, Food for Kids, and Senior Servings, as well as clinic pantries, mobile pantries, and culinary center and college campus pantries. Collectively the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma coordinates more than 380 direct feeding sites.

In 2019, the food bank distributed a record 28.9 million pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 24 million meals, to the hungry. The food bank distributes food via both direct programs and through 350 partner agencies, located in the 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma that comprise nearly 30,000 square miles and contain a population of more than 1.5 million people.

Despite these ongoing successes, CFBEO’s distribution center has been bursting at the seams for years. At 78,000 square feet, the facility was designed to have the capacity to distribute 20 million pounds of food annually.

In February of 2022, in partnership with Hampton Roads Ventures, Heartland Renaissance Fund and Capital One, Crescent closed on a $16M NMTC financing to construct the new Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

CFBEO will add 66,000 SF to CFBEO’s existing 78,000 SF facility, increasing its design capacity from 20 million pounds of food distributed annually to nearly 52 million pounds of food distributed annually. Even though improved workflows will greatly boost the productivity of CFBEO’s existing workforce, additional hiring will be needed, resulting in nine permanent new positions. Approximately 250 construction jobs will also be generated by the facility expansion component of the Build Hope campaign. A new 12,500 SF food preparation kitchen will enable the growth in prepared meal distribution, and fresher, more nutritious offerings will be made available.