Oklahoma nonprofit implements ‘living wage’ policy

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An Oklahoma nonprofit said it is taking a closer look at its policies and will now implement a living wage for its employees.

Effective Jan. 1, no permanent Oklahoma Regional Food Bank employee will earn less than $18.47 per hour.

A living wage means that full-time employees will be able to provide basic needs like housing, food and other necessities.

Organizers say the base salary increase for all employees is the result of months of consultation, collaboration and research.

“Underemployment, not earning enough money to make ends meet, is an underlying cause of hunger and poverty. Our work to prevent hunger begins within our own organization,” said Stacy Dykstra, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank. “Our employees are our greatest resource and we believe that by increasing our pay scale to start with a living wage, we are honoring our staff by ensuring that they can support themselves and their families.”

In addition to increasing the base salary, the Regional Food Bank is working to review current salary scales and develop fair salary scales for each position, measured against available market data.

“We hope our actions will encourage other employers to consider adopting similar policies,” Dykstra said. “As a non-profit organization, we take the responsibility of managing every donated dollar very seriously and know that our partners trust us to ensure that we maximize their investment. Ensuring that our employees can meet their basic needs brings us one step closer to ending hunger and poverty in Oklahoma.”

Michael A. Bynum