Officials with Downstream Casino Resort made their semi-annual Food Bank donations in late December, distributing 20 tons of canned food to eight food banks and food pantries in five counties around the region.

“We have done this twice a year for about nine years now, to try to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in our region, and to try to lead by example and urge everyone to do what they can to help," said Downstream Chairman John Berrey.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual "Food Insecurity" study shows the Tri-State Region of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas losing the battle against hunger.

About 17 percent of the region's households experience food insecurity, and about 6 percent of households have "very low food security." those numbers are up over previous years, and that puts the region near the top of the nation's list of food-insecure regions. 

Tribal officials delivered about 40,000 canned vegetables to food banks and pantries in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, Cherokee and Crawford counties in Kansas, Jasper County, in Missouri, and Benton and Washington counties in Arkansas.