The Tulsa Dream Center as is preparing for an even bigger effort in the fight against hunger in 2021.
“For 20 years, we have been doing a food program and we knew we had to continue to find ways to serve people in need,” Dream Center Executive Director Aaron Johnson said.
Johnson said in his four years at the nonprofit, 2020 has seen its biggest response yet in feeding the hungry.
“Whether you were wealthy, middle class, or financially struggling, the pandemic affected all classes, all races,” Johnson said.
During the pandemic, they have served almost 14 million meals. Johnson said help from churches, nonprofits, and even funding from the Farmers to Family Food Box program through the CARES Act made it possible.
“It was a combination of amazing foundations, amazing churches,” Johnson said.
Victory Church in Tulsa worked alongside the nonprofit in the fight against hunger.
“We got together to find out what we can do to help people,” Terry Henshaw said.
Henshaw said since May, they have delivered 350 truckloads of food every week into 34 states and the Tulsa Dream Center has been one of their destinations.
“People would cry when they get the boxes,” Henshaw said.
Johnson said their goals for 2021 include rebuilding more homes in north Tulsa, building a pool at the Dream Center, and expanding their warehouse to help store more food as the nonprofit thinks hunger will increase.
“Inflation, things are going to be on the rise and so I think companies, churches, and nonprofits are going to be needed more than ever,” Johnson said.
Johnson said they have been fortunate to have thousands of volunteers help them respond to the growth in hunger caused by the pandemic.