San Diego Food Bank Receives Thanksgiving Paper Straw Donation from OkStraw

OkStraw Gives Back. An Eco-Friendly Donation to the San Diego Food Bank.

The San Diego Food Bank received a generous paper straw donation from OkStraw today.  Afterall, what do all things about Thanksgivings have in common? Everyone needs a paper straw, of course! Here at OkStraw, we created our own Thanksgiving tradition.  We ditched plastic and switched to paper straws. We hope our tradition becomes part of every Thanksgiving dinner. To honor this tradition, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank.

Thanksgiving Traditions – Mark them with Holiday Paper Straws

At OkStraw, Thanksgiving Traditions mark a part of our corporate culture. Perhaps Boba Tea is your Thanksgiving tradition? OkStraw offers 4-Ply Bubble Tea straws! Or maybe you love the NFL.  Shop for our Sports Paper Straws. No matter the reason, make our paper straws your newest Thanksgiving tradition.  We will honor your purchase with future donations to the San Diego Food Bank.

Food Waste and San Diego Food Bank Solutions

We often talk about changes we can make to live more sustainably.  For example, shopping with reusable bags.  Or, replace plastic with paper straws. What we often don’t talk about enough, however, is food waste. Uneaten food that goes to waste puts a huge burden on our planet.  In fact, it makes food insecurity worse. However, organizations like the Jacobs & Cushman North County Food Bank chapter are leading the charge against food waste.  They provide hunger relief to vulnerable people in San Diego county.

Food Waste be gone.  Distributing 28 million pounds of food in 2018 alone, and serving an average of 350,000 people in need each month, the Food Bank is the largest organization of its type in San Diego County. With 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in San Diego County facing food insecurity, the San Diego Food Bank is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people. It is also a role model for sustainability, and the fight against food waste.


SD’s Food Bank is making a major local contribution toward the global fight against food waste.

Food waste is a significant threat to the health of our planet. Globally, an estimated $750 billion worth of food is wasted, and according to a study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, food waste is responsible for 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. If the emissions resulting from food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to climate change behind China and the United States.

Food waste is also causing serious harm to world nutrition. In 2015, more than 150 countries assembled at the United Nations to agree on the Sustainable Development Goals, with 2030 as the year to reach these goals. In order to meet the goal of meeting food security, the world must cut down its food waste by 50 percent.

The only food distribution center in the world with an LEED v4 accolade

San Diego Food Bank is also a role model for sustainability in the County. Thanks to 1,400 solar panels, the Food Bank’s 90 thousand foot warehouse is completely energy independent, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. With this energy saved, the food bank provided for families in need with an addition 600,000 meals each year.

The San Diego Food Bank also boasts an impressive composting machine that can separate food waste from plastic, paper and aluminum food packaging, which is sent to recycling. The Food Bank then sends this compost to nonprofit organizations that run community gardens. All of these green initiatives led to the bank’s acility being first and only building in the County to attain LEED v4 Gold Status certification, and the only food bank in the world with an LEED v4 accolade.

OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to be the latest local business to contribute to the San Diego Food Bank’s mission

Additionally, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank to show our thanks to the local community!

The San Diego Food Bank relies on donations from local individuals and businesses to provide residents with the necessary help. OkStraw is proud to continue contributing to their mission, by donating 100,000 biodegradable paper straws. This amounts to over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws, which will go to local community centers, churches and food drives. We at OkStraw Paper Straws are honored to contribute to San Diego Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in the County, and lead the fight for sustainability.

OkStraw Paper Straws Teams Up with Environmental Group BEAT

What do environmental groups and paper straws have in common? Both do their part to keep our oceans free from plastic waste. That’s why OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to announce that we’re teaming up with BEAT. Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT) is based out of North Carolina, and works to keep Brunswick County a beautiful place.

As beachgoing San Diego natives, we at OkStraw Paper Straws know how important environmental groups are. Beaches and oceans free from plastic waste benefit everyone, but people need to protect them. When the beach is your home, you need to make it a clean and safe place to live. Thanks to the BEAT’s work, more Brunswick County residents are fight for healthier beaches and lands. 

About BEAT

Located on North Carolina’s southern coast, Brunswick County boasts stunning beaches and natural land preserves. A group of Brunswick locals wanted to protect these places, and founded the first BEAT in 1996. The original BEAT founders eventually retired and passed away, though, and BEAT went into hiatus. In 2017, however, former members of a local environmental group got together, and started BEAT back up. Since then, BEAT is going stronger than ever.

The environment is first priority for BEAT, not partisanship. BEAT hosts board meetings that anyone can attend, and be part of the discussion. Educating people about the local environment and protecting is the mission at BEAT, and we at OkStraw Paper Straws value this commitment. OkStraw works to fight plastic waste by taking harmful plastic straws out of the equation, and protect marine animals.

BEAT and OkStraw: Our Shared Goals

Because Brunswick County is on the Atlantic Ocean, protecting marine life is paramount for BEAT. The environmental group opposes offshore oil drilling and seismic testing, as both hurt marine animals. BEAT also opposes single-use plastic bags, and we at OkStraw Paper Straws oppose them as well. Plastic pollution of any kind hurts marine animals, and OkStraw does its part to take cut out plastic straws. OkStraw and BEAT both come together in our shared goal of a world free from plastic waste, and clean place to live.

Environmental groups like BEAT remind us at OkStraw why we never take shortcuts to protect the ocean. OkStraw only uses compostable and organic paper, glues and food dyes, and no chemicals, waxes or plastics. If you want to protect the environment, then you need to be true to yourself, and never make compromises

Beat Out Plastic Waste

Thanks to environmental groups like BEAT, people are more empowered to protect the planet. Groups like BEAT raise awareness about issues like plastic waste, and empower everyday people to make sustainable changes. Even small changes like switching from plastic straws to paper straws go a long way to cutting out harmful waste. OkStraw Paper Straws looks forward to BEAT’s future, and their work to keep Brunswick County a beautiful place to live. Thanks to environmental groups like BEAT, more people are ditching plastic, and are joining the Cause for Paper Straws.

OkStraw Donates Paper Straws to Father Joe’s Villages

Last Saturday, OkStraw Paper Straws to lent a hand to Father Joe’s Villages. We donated $300 worth of pillows, and $600 worth of paper straws. Our COO, Brent Ohlendorf, and Director of Client Relations, Edward Nickerson, along with other OkStraw volunteers, helped serve 500 hot meals to people in need. When you buy from OkStraw Paper Straws, you both reduce plastic waste, and support a business that gives back to its community!

OkStraw’s mission is is to safeguard land and sea habitats by supplying global markets with reliable, premium strength, paper straws. We believe that mission is strengthen by supporting the needs of our community in every capacity possible. OkStraw has donated paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank and plans to continue supporting Father Joe’s Village and other valuable community resources. When we say our service is as strong as our straws, we mean our community service too!

Brent, Edward, and Savannah from OkStraw Paper Straws

When we say our service is as strong as our straws, we mean our community service too!

If you live in San Diego, then chances are you’ve heard of Father Joe’s Villages. A fixture of the city and appearing on TV, the Villages gives a helping hand to the 9,000 San Diegans experiencing homelessness every day, and the 5,000 who are forced to sleep in the streets every night. 

Father Joe’s Villages welcomes 2,000 men, women and children facing homelessness into safe shelter every night, and serves more than a million hot meals every year. When people have food, water and shelter, they can take the next steps to improve their lives. Father Joe’s Villages also provides healthcare, dental care, mental health counseling, job placement and training, and childcare services.

Father Joe’s Villages has helped 11,000 people experiencing homelessness achieve permanent housing

All of these services are there to help people better their lives, and help break these vicious cycles of poverty and homelessness. In the past 10 years alone, Father Joe’s Villages has helped 11,000 people experiencing homelessness achieve permanent housing. This includes several individuals with disabilities that require paper straws. Helping these people is why OkStraw set out to start our paper straw donations with the organization. We plan to continue donating our paper straws to the disabled and those in need on a continual basis. 

Father Joe’s Villages is also in the process of serving even more people through its Turning the Key project. The organization plans to add 2,000 more affordable housing units for San Diegans overcoming homeless. With the 4th largest homeless population in the US, and the 3rd largest population of veterans experiencing homelessness, Father Joe’s Villages’ services are in greater demand than ever before. It is through the Turning the Key project that OkStraw and our sister brand EcoTrueBamboo that we donated $300 worth of bamboo pillows. You can follow EcoTrueBamboo on Facebook here: EcoTrueBamboo Facebook.

When you buy from OkStraw Paper Straws, you are supporting a business that gives back to its community

Father Joe Carroll, for whom the nonprofit is named, moved from the Bronx, New York to San Diego in 1963, with little money to his name. Ordained in 1974, Father Joe led a parish for the next years, until 1982, when Bishop Leo Maher approached him, and asked him to take over the St. Vincent de Paul Center. 

Throughout the 80s, Father Joe made the innovative decision of creating a one-stop place to help people experiencing homelessness. In 1987, Father Joe opened the $12 million Joan Kroc Center, which provides healthcare, food, housing, job training, and childcare services to families and single adults in need. Although Father Joe retired in 2011, he continues to help out San Diegans experiencing homeless, and is a lasting pillar of the community. 

OkStraw is very proud to support Father Joe’s Villages with both community service hours and donated paper straws and pillows!

Do your part saving the Earth – There’s something YOU can do about it! Reducing or not using plastic straws. Join the cause for paper straws!

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter