Economy Forces Tulsa Family To Choose Between Hunger And Asking - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

Economy Forces Tulsa Family To Choose Between Hunger And Asking For Help

Posted: Updated:
For George and Rebecca, having a big family was a natural decision. For George and Rebecca, having a big family was a natural decision.
Like tens of thousands of others, the Richens' problems began in the great recession, when George went through his second round of lay-offs. Like tens of thousands of others, the Richens' problems began in the great recession, when George went through his second round of lay-offs.
As a lead teacher at Educare, Rebecca works with families who benefit from the Food Bank's backpack program. As a lead teacher at Educare, Rebecca works with families who benefit from the Food Bank's backpack program.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

In partnership with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, News On 6 is committed to highlighting the problem of hunger in our community, especially when it strikes children.

We've learned the families affected are often not the ones you would expect.

Dinners are a collaborative effort at the Richens household. With four kids and a dog underfoot, there's not a lot of down time. But for George and Rebecca, having a big family was a natural decision.

"I come from a big family. [I'm] the youngest of nine kids and my wife is the second youngest of six kids," George said.

But big families come with big expenses, particularly when it comes to putting food on the table.

"The food goes quick. Keeping it in the house is not easy to do," Rebecca said.

As a lead teacher at Educare, Rebecca works with families who benefit from the Food Bank's backpack program.

"I did get to speak to one of the parents and heard how grateful she was to be able to have that on the weekends," Rebecca said.

But she said she never imagined that one day her family would be in the same position, in their case, applying for food stamps.

"Never did I think that we would need to use programs from the government," Rebecca said. "I was not raised that way and neither was my husband. And it was humbling to go down there and ask for the benefits, but we needed it and we knew it was going to be best for our family."

Like tens of thousands of others, the Richens' problems began in the great recession, when George went through his second round of lay-offs.

Convinced he needed to sharpen his skills, he enrolled as a full-time student at OSU Tulsa.

"I knew that if I didn't go back to school, I'd just be in the same situation later on down the road. So with the degree, I felt I would have more to stand on," George said.

But now the family of six was left with only one income, and it soon became clear that despite their best efforts, their budget would simply not stretch far enough.

"It helps us to be able to know that we have money set aside for food so we can meet our financial obligations, and we don't have to make that choice between paying the electric bill or putting food on the table," Rebecca said.

"It's just a setback. We've fallen down and we're getting up and we're going to go at it again," George said.

George and Rebecca expect they'll be back on their feet within the next year. In the meantime, they say they are grateful every day for the help.

As for the backpack program, it continues to grow, thanks to your support.

Learn More About News On 6's Commitment To Food For Kids

Special Features

Community Calendar

Find out what's going on around town and submit events!

Share

See it! Shoot it! Send it! Share your weather pics and videos with NewsOn6.com!

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.