The holidays can be an especially stressful time for many as the pressure to provide food for family members is amplified. Thanksgiving may seem more like an added burden rather than a family celebration. But each year, the Food Bank strives to change that.
One program to help support families during the Thanksgiving holiday was Holiday Helpings. These holiday boxes provided hunger relief with a traditional meal in shelf-stable form to 200 families in need. The meals were distributed through the School Pantry Program to students who needed extra assistance through the holiday break. Each meal kit contained enough food to feed a family of six and included recipe cards and suggestions.
Further, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Food Bank culinary volunteers packed hundreds of holiday meals that would go across the Tulsa area to families and military veterans in need. The boxes of prepared meals included cranberry sauce, turkey and stuffing, rolls, green beans and a pie, all prepared in the Food Bank’s Culinary Center. Eager recipients just needed to heat the meals.
Some of the meals arrived at the South Tulsa Community House (STCH), a Partner Agency of the Food Bank, where people shared stories of adversities and setbacks that ultimately brought them to need a helping hand.
Gloria, a lively and good-spirited woman, severely injured her neck in September, immobilizing her for a number of weeks. She arrived at the STCH wearing her neck brace and a radiant smile. She was appreciative of the box of food, and also the hot coffee and soup she received while waiting in line. With a little help, she brought the box to her car and went home with her sustaining food.
Another woman had moved to Tulsa with her children and grandkids after Hurricane Katrina. She recalled how difficult the relocation was on her family and felt things had never been the same. After the tragic loss of a daughter in an accident last year, she had the added responsibility of three young grandkids to feed at home. The Thanksgiving food they received allowed the family to celebrate together without the added stress of rumbling bellies.
The circumstances under which a person needs assistance vary greatly. Some have short-term disabilities and challenges, others life-changing losses. The Food Bank and its network of Partner Agencies work together to fight hunger and remove the burden of having to choose between food and other daily needs, such as medicine or transportation.
Thank you to all who donated and made this meal distribution possible. It is because of you that so many families had food on their tables this Thanksgiving.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Food Bank and helping people like Gloria, contact Teressia Kehr at 918-936-4512.