Watch Now: “This Ought to Be an All-In Bout”; Feeding America CEO visits Tulsa Meals Financial institution | Native information

In the nation’s last recession, food insecurity did not peak for two years, Babineaux-Fontenot said. And levels did not return to their pre-recession rates for a decade.

But with continued and increased support from all levels of society, there is hope that this time around could be better.

“I think this should be an all-in fight because it affects us all and it requires that we all be part of the solution too,” she said.

Babineaux-Fontenot walked into the grand entrance of the distribution center in shiny red peep-toe loop shoes and said she immediately felt the sense of community that she loved at so many other food banks around the country. People who help people. And the facility? “Wow,” she said.

High ceilings with brightly colored paper cranes greet visitors at the front doors, and inside the warehouse, rows of food pallets stacked on storage shelves stretch even higher – higher than one would expect from forklifts.

Opened in 2006, the Donald W. Reynolds Distribution Center can store up to 3 million pounds of grocery at a time, according to the center’s website, thanks in part to the massive fridges and freezers in the 78,000-square-foot building. It even has the country’s first commercial kitchen in the bank, and covering 2,200 square feet, officials say it’s already outgrown. In fact, they hope to expand the entire building, said spokesman Greg Raskin.

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