Tulsans should step up to relieve food crisis
BY CASSIDY HOLMES
Thursday, November 17, 2011
11/17/11 at 12:33 PM
Tulsa is suffering from a terrible food crisis. Many nonprofits and assistance organizations in Tulsa are hurting from this year's food crisis. Prime examples are John 3:16 Mission and Tulsa's food bank.
I am on staff and also have been a longtime volunteer at John 3:16 Mission. This year John 3:16 Mission has suffered greatly from the scarce amount of food being donated.
Soon it will be Thanksgiving time, and we are known for our turkey distribution. By this time last year, our food room was full of canned goods and other pantry items. The turkey distribution lasts for four days. When we distribute the meals, we give turkeys and a bag of groceries.
At the moment we hardly have enough food to make it through the first day of distribution.
Recently, we began to do our seasonal canned food drives, and the amount of food we received from the four different locations did not amount to the total amount of food we received from just one location last year. When our mission is short on food, we call the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and pay to receive food. This year the food bank has had to reduce the quality and amount of food distributed due to a lack of supplies.
Currently, John 3:16 Mission's Family Youth Center sees families every weekday for food appointments. These families come expecting to receive a bag of groceries and other pantry necessities. Due to the food shortage during the summer season, we had to cut back on the amount of groceries we gave to the families.
Now we have been reduced to being able to supply only pantry necessities in order to conserve food. This has been done to help ensure we have enough food to distribute meals during turkey distribution.
The families we receive for appointments are allowed only one visit per month. The groceries they receive are packaged to last them this span of 30 days. Lately we have seen families returning before their month's time has been completed, because they were not able to receive enough groceries for the full 30 days.
John 3:16 Mission prides itself on being able to distribute groceries to families once a month, whereas other organizations only distribute every six months.
We need to step up as a community. There are families that truly need help putting food on the table. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, many parents in need find themselves with no answer when their child asks them what they are going to eat for Thanksgiving. We, as a community, need to be the answer to this question; we need to understand what it would feel like to see hopelessness in our children's eyes, and we need to provide the solution.
Everyone in Tulsa needs to lend a helping hand and send in as much food as they can so organizations such as John 3:16 Mission can provide food for those in need. I know Tulsa can be a generous community when it is made aware of the need.
Cassidy Holmes is a staff member at the John 3:16 Mission.
Cassidy Holmes: We need to step up as a community. There are families that truly need help putting food on the table.