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TSET Board of Directors Approves Funding for Food Security 

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 19, 2020) – The Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) on Tuesday approved funding for new programs that will increase Oklahomans’ access to nutritious food as the state addresses the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding set aside to address food security creates a new opportunity for projects that could include support for food access and distribution systems in Oklahoma or other programs that increase access to nutritious foods. The board allocated up to $1 million to be awarded for short-term projects. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that prevention is more important than ever for public health,” said TSET Board of Directors Chair Bruce Benjamin, Ph.D. “Those with underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart or lung disease are more likely to experience serious complications and death from the coronavirus."

“The TSET Board of Directors approved investment in ensuring that Oklahomans have access to healthy food at a time when too many of our neighbors are struggling to feed their families,” Benjamin said. “We are investing in building healthier communities in the areas where we see the greatest health disparities, and we’re investing in Oklahoma’s future by helping youth develop healthy habits at a young age.”

Food insecurity, already a problem in Oklahoma, has worsened since the coronavirus pandemic began. At the end of April, more than one in five households in the United States, and two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, were food insecure, according to preliminary national surveys. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger in Oklahoma.

Potential funding recipients could include non-profits providing services in Oklahoma, state and local government organizations and tribal nations already working in the food security arena.

Additional information on the funding opportunity will be forthcoming. 

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. To learn more, visit

TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.