Food Bank Opens Summer Feeding Sites For Children In Tulsa

Saturday, June 22nd 2019, 7:18 pm
By: Erick Payne

Some kids struggle to get enough to eat over the summer when school isn't in session.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Gathering Place are teaming up to fight this problem.

"We sometimes really see that food is a barrier to people being able to enjoy places like the gathering place," Community Food Bank of Eastern OK Community Initiative Manager Shiraya Proffitt said.

Today is the first day of no-cost lunches for children coming to the Gathering Place. Proffitt said it's just one of dozens of feeding sites opening this summer.

"We want kids to be able to come out, explore, and play with friends, and not have to worry about lunch," Proffitt said.

They want to make this a hunger-free summer. The season is especially difficult for kids when they're not in school because meals are either nonexistent or limited.

"A lot of the kids receive free and reduced lunches through the school and when it's out those lunches go away, we know that some parents have a really hard time filling that gap during the summer," Proffitt said.

The food bank said one out of four children in Oklahoma deal with food insecurity. Two out of three students statewide get free or reduced lunches through their school district.

To address the issue during this summer -- the food bank is opening 73 feeding sites.

Gathering Place Director of Community Relations Rodrigo Rojas said for them, it's a partnership that just makes sense.

"It's top of mind for us, and just adding another element to what Gathering Place is, it's a place for everyone," Rojas said. "When people come here to the Gathering Place we want them to have the best experience possible and a summer meals program is just one way to enhance that experience."

It's an experience both said shouldn’t include worrying about your next meal.

"It's hard to imagine that looking around some of the people your kids are playing with maybe don't have enough food at home when they leave the park and so we just want to make sure that's something that won't be a barrier to people coming and enjoying this beautiful park," Proffitt said.

For more information about the food bank's summer feeding programs, click here.