TULSA – September marks Hunger Action Month, a season that brings awareness to the issue of hunger in America. Sept. 10 is Hunger Action Day when hunger-relief advocates can focus their energy to re-ignite a commitment of providing food with dignity for every Oklahoman who is in need. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, along with their parent organization, Feeding America, provides meaningful ways for everyone to engage. This year more than ever, addressing hunger requires decisive action.
Before the pandemic, Oklahoma already had one of the highest rates of food insecurity, in the nation. Now, Feeding America projects that one in five Oklahomans, including an astounding one in three Oklahoma children will face food insecurity in the days ahead.
“As a result of current job losses, furloughs, evictions, and other pandemic related health and economic effects, our network has seen an incredible increase in the need for food in the community,” said Lori Long, CEO of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “The Food Bank will continue to keep our eye on a variety of metrics and a finger on the pulse of our communities to be able to best respond as needs and opportunities arise.”
Feeding America and the Food Bank are asking everyone to act by learning more about hunger and educating others, working a volunteer shift, making a donation, creating social media posts – every act counts.
“We hope everyone will plan to wear orange or light their homes and businesses orange, the official color of hunger awareness, on Hunger Action Day, Sept. 10. It can serve as a great conversation starter” said Long.
The Food Bank offers an interactive 30 Ways in Thirty Days calendar posted on their website, okfoodbank.org. It includes activities and actions with a wide range of interests each day of the month. Several Tulsa businesses and buildings, such as the BOK Center, Cox Business Center, Gathering Place, Guthrie Green, and the Performing Arts Center, will also participate this year by lighting buildings orange.
“Thanks to the generous involvement and encouragement of the restaurant community, everyone can still enjoy Restaurant Week,” said Rochelle Dowdell, chief advancement officer for the Food Bank. “In addition to on-site dining, our incredible participating Tulsa area restaurants have added a take-out option this year, so those who would like to dine at home can still enjoy local food and help the community."
As a member of the national Feeding America network of food banks, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma provides food to people in need through its network of 350 partner agencies throughout the 24 counties of Eastern Oklahoma. To learn more about how partnering with the Food Bank helps children, seniors, veterans and families, go to okfoodbank.org.
Founded in 1981, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest, private hunger-relief organizations in Oklahoma. Feeding programs include emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, child feeding programs, senior feeding programs, and veterans' initiatives.