"Poverty is a very complicated issue,
but feeding a child is not.”
2019 saw explosive growth in the Food Bank's Summer Feeding Programs
for children in eastern Oklahoma.
This year looks radically different. With COVID-19, schools closed and it was as if summer came early. Now summer is here and many children will go hungry. Physical distancing and safety precautions for children and adults means many summer programs have suspended their operations, or have significant changes to their programs. Without our help, families already under strain, or newly unemployed, will struggle to put food on the table.
According to a May 2020 Brookings Institution Report, Food insecurity in households with children under 18 has increased by almost 130 percent from 2018 to today. In the same report, one in three households with a child living there was food-insecure as of late April 2020.
Take a look at this video to get a glimpse how Food Bank supporters and volunteers created a Hunger-Free Summer for children last year.
Food-insecurity impacts 1 in 4 Oklahoma children.
Summer can be difficult for kids without access to school meals. It adds further strain to families already struggling to put food on the table. For these families, the summer months mean increased food need, along with higher utility costs as they care for children at home.
You can help ensure these families can enjoy their summer instead of worrying about where they’ll find their next meal. Funding to Hunger-Free Summer helps support high quality meal programs for children.
Thanks to a matching grant from the Hagler Pinkerton Foundation, your gift will double. Please Help.
With COVID-19 precautions in place, program sites have wrestled with how, or if, to conduct summer programs for children. This has made our plans to provide meals to students more challenging. The programs and organizations that feed children are varied and have a diverse range of food needs. For instance, the availability of refrigeration, kitchen space, and staff looks different at each site this year, some operations offer on-site programs featuring congregant meals while others will host grab and go meal sites. Click Here for a list of sites.
The Food Bank’s Culinary Center will produce and freeze thousands of fresh meals each week this summer. With help from a group of AmericaCorps Members, meals will go to a variety of feeding sites and programs across eastern Oklahoma. All children aged 18 and under can receive no cost meals. With food service continuing until August 14, the Food Bank anticipates providing meals for about 75,000 children this summer.
For those interested in hosting a Summer Food Program site, please contact Colleen Almeida Smith at 918-936-4558.
The Backpack Program is typically dormant in the summer, but serve several sites in our service which continue operations. Many schools make food available for students in need even while closed.
School Pantry Program at several secondary schools, as well as some college campuses, have also continued to make school pantries available for their students facing food insecurity this summer.
Free Family Farmers’ Markets will continue providing fresh produce and bakery items to students and their families at CAP Tulsa’s early childhood education programs and in rural communities throughout our service area.
Partner Agency Food Distribution The Food Bank’s network of 350 Partner Agencies serves more families in the summer months. They distribute additional fresh produce and other nutritious food to families whose children rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year. This year they also have access to our disaster relief boxes.
Click here for a state-wide listing of COVID related and summer feeding sites from Hunger-Free Oklahoma.
To find a Food Bank network Partner Agency near you, visit our Get Help Page.
Tulsa Public Schools Summer Café Program will provide meals for students. For more information go to TPS Summer Cafe Meal Sites.
For other hunger relief resources click here for information from Hunger-Free Oklahoma.
Limited volunteer opportunities exist for those who love working in a commercial kitchen and are committed to alleviating hunger for children. For information about volunteering in the Culinary Center, contact Teressia Kehr at 918-936-4512.