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Community Food Bank Workers Say Their Jobs Spread Blessings

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Another truck pulls out of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Another truck pulls out of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Joe Bowie picks up a donation from a local grocery store. Joe Bowie picks up a donation from a local grocery store.
Shannon Snelling works in the warehouse. Shannon Snelling works in the warehouse.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The News On 6 has teamed up with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to grow and expand the "Food for Kids" program. And, that's given many of us here the chance to get to know the people that work at the Food Bank.

We'd like to introduce you to a couple of the guys behind the scenes who help make sure those in need, do not go without this holiday season.

It's a scene that repeats itself dozens of times a day. A truck pulls out of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Sometimes Joe Bowie is behind the wheel. He's one of a dozen full time warehouse workers at the food bank who heads off to pick up donated items from a local grocery store.

It's been a very busy holiday season for Joe, but that's the way he wants it.

"The more food we get in, it keeps, it keeps all of us good and busy and lets us know our community is helping us," said Joe Bowie.

People are helping at twice the rate of last year. Consider these numbers provided by the food bank. Last year there were 134 food drives in October and November. This year, there have been 208. In 2010, they resulted in 54,000 pounds of food being collected. This year, over 117,000 pounds have been collected.

"And we still got 10 days until this is over, Joe said.

Joe is a grandfather and a retired Army drill sergeant. He appreciates a smooth running operation that helps those who need it most.

"My family, you know, has just about everything they want and then I think about the families that don't," said Joe Bowie of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

""Making a big impact on Oklahoma. I think it's great that people are really recognizing that we're doing a good thing here," he said.

Waiting to weigh Joe's haul back at the warehouse dock is Shannon Snelling. He estimates 500 pounds of food are in this load, but it's better than that – 676 pounds.

Every ounce is duly noted and recorded.

"And then these go to our product recovery room in the back, and then they sort through it and get it to where it needs to go to go out," he said.

That work is done by volunteers, and there are more of those this year too.

"It's good for me to see a lot of people that this food goes to, to see some of the people first-hand that gets it, and they're very appreciative," Shannon said.

Shannon has been working at the food bank about a year and a half. He says this job pays more than just money.

"It's important for me because it makes me feel good that I'm doing a good thing. I'm blessed to be at this job and blessing other people," said food bank warehouse worker Shannon Snelling.

By the way, Shannon is a big fan of the OSU Cowboys. When I asked him to give me a final score in the upcoming Fiesta Bowl, he said: " A lot of the Cowboys and a little for Stanford."

Join the fight against hunger with "Food for Kids."

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