U.S. Sen. James Lankford, 1st District Congressman Kevin Hern and about two dozen other elected officials sacked apples Monday afternoon to help the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma launch its October Feeding Oklahoma food drive.
“Food insecurity is not a partisan issue,” Lankford said in addressing the Feeding Across the Aisle event in the food bank’s warehouse at 1304 N. Kenosha Ave. “It’s just taking care of people.”
“This is a big issue for us all,” said Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “It’s a state not living up to its obligation, an Indian Nation not living up to its obligation and a country not living up to its obligation.
“It takes a hub like the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to bring us all together,” said Hoskin.
Cherokee Nation Businesses is a Feeding Oklahoma sponsor. The monthlong event is part of a national drive and includes other food banks throughout the state. A Feeding Across the Aisle session was held Monday in Oklahoma City, too.
“This is a crucial time for us,” said Rochelle Dowdell, director of philanthropy and communications for the food bank. “We’re coming out of Hunger Action Month (September) and moving into Feed Oklahoma.”
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributed 28.2 million pounds of food last year, a 71% increase in five years.
The food is distributed through more than 100 partner agencies from warehouses in Tulsa and McAlester.
Monday’s volunteers divided boxes of apples into five-pound poly net bags.
Dowdell said the participation of elected officials of both major parties is a signal to people throughout eastern Oklahoma that the food bank is truly a community activity.
Those interested in participating may contact the Tulsa office at 918-585-2800.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Jennifer Murphy talks about the Tulsa Police new reading program and school supply handout at the Darlington Apartments.