Food Program Expands to Help Struggling Seniors

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

A new program is expanding outside of Tulsabeginning today to help meet the needs of hungry seniors in Oklahoma.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahomais kicking off its new Senior Servings program today in Osage and Nowata Counties. The program is a jointeffort with AARP Oklahoma to help identify seniors in Oklahomastruggling with hunger.

Two food distributions will take place today in bothcounties with approximately 50 seniors identified and pre-registered at eachsite, according to a press release from the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

The first distribution will take place in Pawhuska at theOsage County Nutrition/Cedar Ridge Site beginning at 9:30 am. Organizers will then travel to the second site atthe Nowata Senior Citizens Center and begin distribution at 2 pm.

Several dignitaries have been invited to attend thedistributions in each county including Pawhuska's Mayor Roger Taylor and Nowata'sMayor Jim Patton. Representatives from the Oklahoma State Department of Healthand other town board members also will be present.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahomaserves 24 counties in eastern Oklahomaincluding Osage and Nowata counties, according to the press release. The foodbank's two most vulnerable populations within their service area include seniorand children.

In Oklahoma, 6.8 percent of seniors are food insecure whichmakes older Oklahomans 25 percent more likely to be food insecure than thenational average, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization whosemission is to fight to end hunger in the U.S.

A recent study conducted by Feeding America also reportedthat 45.4 percent of eastern Oklahomans had to choose between food and medicalcare, according to the study.

AARP Oklahoma is partnering with the food bank on a sixmonth plan that has resulted in the Senior Servings program, according to thepress release.

Following today's food distributions in Osage and Nowatacounties, the food bank will provide the program beginning October 1 andevery other Monday going forward to both facilities.