The end of the school year is not a joyous occasion for some children. For many students, it means the end of consistent access to nutritious meals.

The Food Bank now has a unique tool in its arsenal to combat hunger: the Mobile Eatery. It’s a food truck that allows the Food Bank to reach more people in eastern Oklahoma than ever. 

Terri is a single mother of three boys. They struggle to make ends meet and the summer is especially difficult. She says she is so grateful for the food her family receives.

“Thank you, it means a lot to people like us, especially at the end of the month. Our food stamps are helpful, but run out pretty quick, especially when you’ve got kids saying they’re hungry.”

The Mobile Eatery focuses on providing healthy meals and snacks to the one in four children at risk of going hungry in Oklahoma. However, it offers more than just summer meals. It also provides meals during food pantry distributions, serves at senior centers and raises funds through events to give back to the Food Bank’s programs. 

“I’ve become really good friends with all the people serving us. They really reach out to the community. They interact with the kids and the adults. They don’t leave anybody out. It’s nice to have something around that shows somebody cares,” Terri said. 

It launched in 2013 through the generosity of donors Allison and John Greene and the Carol Tandy Foundation. 

“After bouncing the idea of a food truck off community leaders, the knowledge, experience and volunteer base of the Food Bank made them the perfect landing spot for this idea,” Allison Greene said. 

Tandy says she got involved because of the challenge summer and extended breaks bring to families struggling to fill the gap between child hunger and family budgets. 

“Because the backpack program relies upon school being in session, meals and snacks were unable to be delivered to the area’s neediest and most vulnerable children during extended school recesses and summer vacation,” she said.

Unlike brick-and-mortar programs, the Mobile Eatery has the ability to easily service several locations in a matter of hours and has found a permanent place in the Food Bank family.