The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma (CFBEO) has provided consistent help to those in need since 1981. With help from volunteers, it has grown exponentially since inception. Currently, the CFBEO is responsible for providing 450,000 meals each week to people in need, making their critical services very impactful to those in need throughout the local community.
In April, the CFBEO hosted its annual “Empty Bowls” fundraising event recognizing and thanking those individuals who have been instrumental in helping with the Food Bank’s community efforts. Two awards were presented to those at Montereau! We are especially proud of these individuals and their efforts, and we want to thank them for their contributions to the community.
The Sara J. Waggoner Hunger Awareness Award
The 2019 Sara J. Waggoner Hunger Awareness Award was presented to Evelyn Nienhuis who has been involved with the Food Bank since its early stages. Evelyn’s tremendous support over the past 30+ years has enabled the CFBEO to increase in size and service, offering more support to the community at large. According to Evelyn, “There is a tremendous need for this resource in the community. It is critically important to provide good food to those in need.”
According to the CFBEO, Evelyn was selected to receive this award based on her consistent commitment over the years. During the award presentation, the Food Bank stated, “Evelyn’s devotion and involvement with the Food Bank dates back to the earliest days of operations. Ms. Nienhuis was a Food Bank board member when the very first capital campaign was launched in 1985 to raise the funds needed to purchase the first Food Bank building. She worked hard and gave generously to that campaign. After her tenure on the board ended, her commitment to the hungry and the work of the Food Bank did not. Evelyn’s enthusiastic spirit advocating for the hungry has continued all these years. She still volunteers with the “purple posse” from Montereau. In order to continue expanding services provided to people in the community, Evelyn helped the Food Bank purchase an adjacent parcel of land that will hopefully be used for a much-needed capital expansion.”
Organization of the Year Award
This year, our Montereau resident Food Bank volunteers received, collectively, the Volunteer Organization of the Year Award. This group’s faithfulness in showing up on a bi-weekly basis, as well as its commitment to writing hundreds of thank you notes throughout the year, continues to provide significant help to the organization. Lloyd Zelewski provides enthusiastic leadership in organizing our volunteers and making sure their contributions are impactful. We are thankful for his leadership. The CFBEO affectionately refers to the purple bus full of Montereau volunteers as the “Purple Posse”, and organization representatives shared during the award presentation that they are incredibly thankful to these dedicated residents!
Thank you to Evelyn and all of the volunteers with the Purple Posse who generously give their time to support the CFBEO. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the Purple Posse, contact Lloyd Zelewski at (918) 493-1160. ■
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