Hunger Stories: 2 Thanksgiving Stories

Thanks to so many gifts this holiday season, the Food Bank was able to help families that struggle to put food on the table during holidays and everyday. We would like to tell you just two of those stories.
Lani the Eager Volunteer

Lani came to the Food Bank with her school to help pack Thanksgiving meals for School Pantry families. She approached the Food Bank’s leader as they were building the boxes and consistently offered advice on which food products would make the most useful and appreciated items for families struggling during the holidays. When Lani asked how she herself might be able to qualify to receive one of the boxes for her family, it became apparent that she received her food insecurity education through real world experiences.

Both of Lani’s parents have physical disabilities, with her mother only having the capacity for limited employment. Her grandfather, who also lives with the family, is retired and no longer able to work. She has a sister with severe mental disabilities. Lani and her 10-year old brother both go to school. Her family constantly struggles in order to get enough to eat. Lani mentioned they have not had a Thanksgiving meal in several years.

Lani goes to a Tulsa high school and studies pharmacy at Tulsa Technology Center (TTC). She plans a switch to a career path as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). With the expansion of the Food for Kids School Pantry Program, Lani can now access food from either her school pantry or the new college pantry at TTC. For Thanksgiving, she was able to get some of the very food she helped package at the Food Bank. As a result, her family was able to prepare a real Thanksgiving meal.

Lani was extremely grateful for the holiday food, “It means a lot to families who can’t afford much to eat and often go without food. Thank you. It is nice to be nice to people because there is so much hate in the world.”

Kimberly and Her Four Children Want Thanksgiving Too

Kimberly is a single mom with four children. She was in a work-related car accident and has since had three back surgeries. Unfortunately, her worker’s compensation ran out at the end of last month, and she still is not cleared to go back to work. As a result, her family is having a hard time making ends meet. She is attempting to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to help see her through her current situation.

Kimberly lives at a south Tulsa apartment complex. She helped coordinate several families who were in need during the holidays with the South Tulsa Community House so they could receive full Thanksgiving meals from the Food Bank.

When she received the food for her family, Kimberly reflected, “If it wasn’t for this food we simply wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal. I just want to thank you. Without you, the people like me who live all over Tulsa wouldn’t have enough to eat.”


Thanks to these companies who recently held food drives specifically to raise food for Thanksgiving:

Red River Apartments
Stanley Security


The Mobile Eatery provided hot soup, hot chocolate and fresh fruit to families waiting to receive Thanksgiving meals at South Tulsa Community House.