Posted on June 30, 2020 Posted By: Greg Raskin
Categories: Hunger Stories
Langley, Oklahoma sits at the mouth of Grand Lake, and is the gateway to the longest multi-arch dam in the world. In contrast, according to librarian and summer feeding coordinator, Jeanie Norman, the Langley Public Library is one of the smallest in the state. It serves a little town whose visible hard edges indicate most of the prosperity of the lake area has failed to nourish the local community.
Jeanie has committed herself to serving the children in the area by participating in the Food Bank’s summer feeding program for a third year. Children who otherwise would go hungry have a safe place and a friendly librarian to provide nutritious meals.
Lisa, a grandmother participating in the program, picks up meals each week for her grandson and the other three children under age 16 at her home. Social security is the sole source of income for the family of seven. Lisa stated that during COVID-19, “This food is appreciated and is worth the risk to come and pick it up.”
Even without discretionary money, when Lisa met a couple living under a bridge, she generously invited them to stay in the shop on their property. “It isn’t comfortable sleeping on a wood floor, but it’s better than staying in the rain. Our resources are limited, but you help when you can.”
Over the years, Lisa’s husband has made frequent trips to the hospital due to coronary disease. She said the meals they receive for her grandson help make the choice between gas for the car to care for her husband and food a little easier. “I can swallow my pride and accept this charity. Most of us at home can eat pinto beans and rice every day, but these meals provide my grandson with more nutritious food than I can give.”
Another example of the many grandparents in the area unexpectedly caring for a child is Donna and her husband who also struggle with the weight of providing for their family. Donna said, “It’s been really rough on us. My husband and I are on social security, but COVID-19 really affected my son, his wife and their twins. She lost her job and hasn’t found another.”
Jeanie described her gratitude to the Food Bank for providing food to her community when the school feeding program ended early due to COVID-19. “We have been very blessed to have the Food Bank assist over the past several years, but this year has been especially helpful. Our area is such a mixture of transient and low-income households. Unfortunately with the manifestation of COVID-19 many of those who did have a job are now out of work. The program has been very beneficial in making sure that the children in our area have nutritious meals. I honestly don’t know what the families in this area would do without this program throughout the summer.
Thanks to a matching grant from the John & Helen Mol Trust, Patricia Parks, Trustee, you can make a summer 2020 gift here that will double.