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Kendall-Whittier Food Pantry Helping Teachers' Struggling Families

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa food bank is stepping up its outreach to educators – and finding more families struggling.

The Kendall-Whittier neighborhood has a charity and food bank.  They spotted a need – educators on the verge of being unable to feed their families.

Hanna Bullock picked up groceries for her family today.  The supply will last them one week.  She in nine years into a teaching career.

“A lot of us are struggling,” said Bullock.  “It’s not that we want people to feel sorry for us, but we put in a lot of hard work, we went to college four years, and we feel like we deserve to make a little more than we do.”

The groceries are distributed on the nearby TU campus through a partnership between the college’s “True Blue Neighbors” and the Kendall Whittier food bank.

The food bank has long had a few educators among their clients.

Lori Decter Wright, the Kendall Whittier Director, says, “I think the needs are there, and they’ve been there.”

But the director of the food bank says more teachers are coming forward to say they need help.

“I think part of it is teachers are getting more comfortable talking about their situation,” said Wright.  “Over the past few years, with all the budget cuts, we’ve gotten more calls from teachers and staff.”

The food bank provided for ten families today and all of them work in education, either support staff or teachers.

Bullock says “it helps tremendously.  I have one income for my family and there’s five of us.  On a teacher’s salary, it’s very hard sometimes.”

The food bank is here because of food insecurity, which is a byproduct of financial insecurity.

The teachers I spoke with today are worried about their finances and what impact the walkout could have for them and support staff in the schools.

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