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East Central University and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Home » Workforce Development » Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award » East Central University and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

An estimated 40% of U.S. college students experience food insecurity, which affects class performance, grades, and overall health and wellbeing and ultimately forces the student to choose between paying for food or paying for tuition and bills. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (RFBO) and East Central University have partnered for three years to address food insecurity among ECU students. While RFBO partners with many colleges and universities, ECU and RFBO have served more than 250 participants in the first three years. The Food Bank at ECU began the service prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. A year later in spring 2021, RFBO worked with ECU to reopen the food bank. Due to pandemic guidelines, representatives were unable to visit campus. Through virtual methods and the steady partnership with RFBO, the Food Bank at ECU reopened and served students in need during a time of uncertainty. RFBO allows ECU to obtain food at a lower cost and serve more students and their families. ECU Food Bank utilizes the box distribution method, and each box of food is tailored to the specific needs of the student and their family. The ECU Food Bank also distributes the boxes during a time that is convenient for students. RFBO’s partnership with ECU allows students to focus on education rather than food insecurity and difficult financial decisions. After all, education can lift a student – and their family – out of poverty.