Oklahoma Food Pantries Receive Huge Donation Of Frozen Food
TULSA, Oklahoma - More than 70,000 of our Green Country neighbors rely on food banks each week.
Shelves would be empty, tables bare, without your donations.
Providing a balanced meal is one of the biggest challenges in fighting the problem of hunger.
For that reason, for nearly 70 Eastern Oklahoma food pantries, Monday was a little bit like Christmas.
"We are so excited. We have not had frozen food in awhile," said Shelley Allen, of the Kendall Whittier, Inc. Emergency Food Pantry.
Tyson Foods donated 30,000 pounds of boneless chicken to the area food bank.
As trucks drove through, TU student-athletes helped load cases of chicken.
"We're like a family and being able to contribute to other people's family is great," said Melissa Urquhart.
"It feels great just to help out the community. All the athletes, come together, work with Tyson and be a contributor out here in the community. It's real great," Scottie Haralson said.
With the growing number of people in need and the lack of funding at food pantries, programs like this are critical.
"Meat is very expensive and many of our agencies have not had it to distribute, and the food bank hasn't had a lot of meat to share with them," said Eileen Bradshaw, of the Community Food Bank of Easter Oklahoma.
Some food pantries have been able to procure cheaper meats, but those don't usually have the best nutritional value.
"We used to always have really good frozen food like pork patties, chicken, ground beef. Right now, we have hot dogs. All we have are hot dogs," Allen said.
Allen says it breaks her heart knowing her food pantry can't provide balanced meals to families.
This donated chicken will change that.
"We have cans of beef stew and I know they're good, but when you look at the fat and sodium, it's good to balance. It's good to balance with chicken," Allen said.
Lift Up America is a partner in this program.