Tulsa Food Bank Gives 'Senior Servings'

Friday, July 20th 2012, 11:21 pm
By: News On 6

We hope, by now, you're familiar with the Food for Kids backpack program, which supplies needy children with extra food to see them through the weekend.

Friday, the Community Food Bank took that concept in a new direction.

Volunteers come every day to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, but the assignment for Friday's group was a first.

The local chapter of the AARP teamed up with the food bank to provide a senior version of the food for kids program.

They call it Senior Servings, and AARP volunteer, Othella Martin, said it's long overdue.

"Most of our seniors are on fixed incomes, so money is not always readily available. Transportation—getting to the grocery store is an issue," Martin said.

So, the food will be brought to them.

This is a one-year pilot program, starting with a low income senior apartment complex in west Tulsa.

In a couple of months, it will expand into Osage and Nowata counties, and folks at the food bank hope that's just the beginning.

"In five years time, I would love to see a distribution site in every county in our service area. We have twenty-four counties in our service area," said Cindy Cummings, of the food bank. "You know, I would love to see the program serving ten-thousand seniors."

For now, they'll settle for 150 bags, each filled with nine items, including peanut butter, jelly, tuna, milk and pasta—all packed up by AARP volunteers, along with lots of help from the Home Depot team.

Volunteering at the food bank is a monthly project for Home Depot employees.

"The more people that come down, the more people show up the following time, just because of the great time that we have helping out," said Michael Algerio, one of the Home Depot volunteers.

From kids to seniors, even a small bag of food can make a big difference.

This is a pilot program, and the bags will be delivered twice a month to one senior complex in Tulsa, starting in early August.

If you'd like to help get the program off the ground, there's more information on the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma website.