In the summer of 2015, the Food Bank began an effort of outreach to a segment of our community that was under-reported in hunger awareness surveys, namely veterans. For a multitude of reasons, hunger affects veterans disproportionately than the general population. Statistics indicate that veterans live in 18% of the households the Food Bank serves. With 110,000 military veterans living in the Food Bank’s service area alone, there are likely many more veterans facing food insecurity in Oklahoma.
Food Bank partnerships and initiatives provide hunger relief to veterans in need.
The Food Bank provides hot lunches to Tulsa’s veterans at the Coffee Bunker (to protect the health and safety of the veteran community, the Coffee Bunker has temporarily suspended this program due to COVID precautions). Supported by veteran specific grants, the Coffee Bunker is distributing emergency food boxes to veterans in need during the pandemic. Food is supplied to Supportive Services for Veteran Families, a housing first initiative, for food starter kits. Finally, the Food Bank makes Mobile Pantry deliveries to Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.) centers in Claremore, Muskogee, and Poteau, as well as to the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center and the United Spanish War Veteran Colony near Wilburton in Latimer County.
To support the Food Bank's veterans outreach please make your donation to the Veterans Nutrition Fund. The Veterans Nutrition Fund was established by former Reasor’s executive, and Food Bank employee, Steve Lehto. The fund will help improve service to veterans in eastern Oklahoma.
“I watched the Food Bank deliver large quantities of food and hot meals to Oklahoma's veterans in need. I served in the Navy long ago and do not find myself in need, but feel a strong sense of having to ‘answer the call’ for my brothers and sisters who are not so fortunate.” -Steve Lehto
For more information about veterans feeding initiatives contact Jim Lyall Manager of Veterans Outreach, at 918-936-4514.