Free Meals For Tulsa Kids Served At Summer Cafes

Wednesday, May 31st 2017, 8:47 am

The doors open Thursday at summer feeding sites in Tulsa and anyone under 18 can eat for free.

There will be 65 sites in Tulsa that offer free meals to make sure that no children go hungry. 

It takes food to draw a crowd sometimes, but at the kickoff to the summer feeding program, the concern was more about the people who don't show up to eat when it's free and available all summer.

"There's not a stigma, no one asks questions. There's no paperwork. We really want this to be the summer where no child goes without a meal who needs it," said Eileen Bradshaw with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

4/20/2017 Related Story: Food Bank Repurposes Shipping Containers To Grow Food

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, along with the education leaders, are working to expand awareness of free meals in the summer.

Though every child can eat for free, state administrators of the program said only about 6 percent of families take advantage of it; and most of them are in cities.

"To take on a greater challenge and that's rural Oklahoma and that's how do we make sure that all kids have good nutrition during the summer months," said Joy Hoffmeister, State School Superintendent.

In Tulsa, 80 percent of children qualify for free lunch at school, and the new outreach effort is to get them to come eat during the summer.

"The food program is awesome. The kids want for nothing. They don't have to be hungry, it's free for the ones who need food," said Sabrina Shelton.
And the state superintendent has mobilized church groups to put out these door hangers advertising the program, which is for anyone under 18.

The summer cafes run from June 1 to August 4, 2017.

See a list of locations at the Tulsa Public Schools website.

If outside Tulsa, the Oklahoma Department of Education website has a link to help you find a OK Summer Food site.  Or you can Text FOOD to 877877 for food sites near you.