The number of people seeking food assistance is greater now than any time in the 30-year history of the Regional Food Bank. Thankfully, Oklahomans are incredibly generous. When we asked our friends, neighbors and corporate partners to help fill the need during our Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers Food Drive — you responded in record-breaking ways. Because of your generosity, this effort is our largest food/fund drive of the year. During this year’s food drive, we collected 679,766 pounds of food and raised $580,394, allowing us to provide nearly 4.6 million meals. We greatly thank the community, our sponsors and partners for your continued support in our fight against hunger in Oklahoma. We will not solve hunger today, but we can make hungry lives less harsh, less tragic and less desperate. Thank you for caring. Thank you for sharing. We had ample volunteer support at post offices; we had corporate sponsors honor commitments in tough times; we had enthusiastic letter carriers picking up and returning canned food donations; we had Oklahomans filling plastic bags to the brim to help those less fortunate; we had local businesses creating crazy office games to motivate employees; we had an unprecedented $496,000 donation from Devon Energy and their employees; and all this because we, as Oklahomans, care. We care about seniors who can’t afford prescriptions and food; we care about families living out of cars because parents are jobless with depleted savings; and we care about the child going to school on Monday morning hungry — we care! We are continually amazed by Oklahomans’ generosity. During a time of economic uncertainty, Oklahomans responded again to one of our most basic needs — food. Lives are being changed by simple acts of providing food to a child, a senior, or a struggling family. When we woke this morning, we didn’t have to worry about having something to eat; when we go to bed tonight we will not have to worry about eating tomorrow — our choice is about what we will eat, not if we will eat. Choices that so many of us take for granted, many do not have. This is not about statistics; it is about people’s lives. The Oklahoma Task Force on Hunger released a report in December 2007 titled "Hunger is Not OK” stating that Oklahoma was one of the hungriest states in our country. The report stated, "Food is life. Just as all human beings have a right to life, which is inherent and sacred, they also have a right to food, the fuel of life. The good society, one of both justice and mercy, is morally obligated to ensure that all of its members are fed.” Oklahoma, your compassion is overwhelming and we thank you for your support of the Regional Food Bank and its effort to continue "Fighting Hunger … Feeding Hope.” Please continue helping by holding your own food drive, donating funds or volunteering at the food bank. Bivens is executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma ( www.regionalfoodbank.org).