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Organizations Team Up To Provide Tulsa Families With Fresh Summer Produce

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Shoppers of all sizes came out to a new kind of farmer's market at McClure Elementary school. Shoppers of all sizes came out to a new kind of farmer's market at McClure Elementary school.
Eileen Bradshaw said a quarter of the food distributed by the food bank last year was produce, almost five million pounds worth. Eileen Bradshaw said a quarter of the food distributed by the food bank last year was produce, almost five million pounds worth.
As a mother of three, Christina Boatwright knows just how hard it can be to stretch a budget far enough to provide healthy meals for her family. As a mother of three, Christina Boatwright knows just how hard it can be to stretch a budget far enough to provide healthy meals for her family.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Instead of lazy days by the pool, summertime can mean hunger for children who no longer have access to breakfast or lunch at school.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma has several programs to help address the problem.

The newest one also has a fresh, new twist.

Shoppers of all sizes came out to a new kind of farmer's market at McClure Elementary school, one specially created by the food bank and the Community Action Project for children attending their summer schools.

"We really felt that all families, regardless of their income, needed access to fresh and healthy vegetables," said Linda Brock, of the Community Action Project.

The assortment included peaches, plums, potatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe; altogether, more than 11,000 pounds of food for families to choose from.

3/13/2013 Related Story: Economy Forces Tulsa Family To Choose Between Hunger And Asking For Help

It's one of four sites where these deliveries are being made this summer, serving a total of more than 700 children.

"The response has been phenomenal from families," said Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank. "They're so excited. They can't believe they can actually have more than three plums, or more than three peaches. They can have as much as they need to feed their families."

As a mother of three, Christina Boatwright knows just how hard it can be to stretch a budget far enough to provide healthy meals for her family.

"It's very expensive to eat healthy these days, so every little bit helps," she said.

And every little bit can eventually make a big difference.

Bradshaw said a quarter of the food distributed by the food bank last year was produce, almost five million pounds worth.

She said she sees programs like this as more than an investment in one day, or one family--she's out to change the world, one small child at a time.

"This will become a lifelong habit. If they have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, their parents have the ability to cook it and have it around as a snack instead of a cookie, it's going to be a habit and it's going to change these outcomes over the course of a lifetime for the whole state--not just the recipients," Bradshaw said.

Click here for more on News On 6's commitment to Food For Kids

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