Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: October 31, 2011
Senate staffers dressed up for the annual Senate Halloween Chili
Cook-off where they celebrated a successful charity drive for the
Oklahoma Regional Food Bank as well as other charities through the
State Charitable Campaign.
Senate zombies entertained their fellow staffers with their
version of Thriller.
Senate staff scares up donations for state’s hungry
Twelve months of furloughs and losing nearly thirty percent of
their staff over the last three years hasn’t dampened the
spirits or generosity of the employees at the Oklahoma State Senate
who donated thousands of dollars to various state charities including
the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank this month.
Each fall, Senate staff, which consists of around 100 full-time
employees, chooses a state charity to support in correlation with
the United Way’s Annual State Charitable Campaign. On Monday,
the staff gathered for their annual Halloween Chili Cook-off luncheon
where they learned they were able to raise $1,500 for the Food Bank,
which will help the organization provide 7,500 meals around the
Many staffers also contributed to the State Charitable Campaign
(SCC), which is an annual, unified fundraising effort that provides
state employees with the opportunity to make donations to their
favorite charitable organizations through the convenience of payroll
deduction or one-time gifts. Together Senate employees contributed
just under $3,700 to the SCC.
“We have a tremendous staff in the Senate. Not only are they
some of the most knowledgeable and hard working employees in state
government, they’re also some of the most generous,”
said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Each year, regardless of the ups
and downs of the economy, our employees open their hearts and checkbooks
to local charities like the Regional Food Bank. I’m proud
to be able to work with this amazing group of people.”
Staffers chose to focus their efforts on the Food Bank given the
growing problem of hunger in Oklahoma. According to the State Department
of Human Services, Oklahoma ranks as the fifth hungriest state in
the nation. Each day, there are over 600,000 individuals who do
not know where they will get their next meal.
The number of Oklahoma families applying for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program,
has steadily increased in recent years to its highest numbers in
state history. Since March, the number of recipients has climbed
from nearly 607,400 to just over 625,000.
In Fiscal Year 2011, over 880,000 Oklahomans received some kind
of food assistance – an increase of nearly 248,000 people
since FY’08. Given that the state’s population is just
under 3.7 million, nearly one-fourth of the state’s citizens
received some kind of nutritional assistance in the last year.
Unfortunately, for many of these families the assistance they receive
is not enough to get them through the month so they depend on local
churches and nonprofit organizations like the Food Bank to put food
on their tables.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605