The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma said it has heard from partner programs that 60 percent more families could be struggling with hunger this year. That is especially challenging over the holiday season.
"It's a tough time," said Eileen Bradshaw with the Food Bank. "You know, we have children who will be on holiday from school and so they haven't been getting any of their meals there. That's an extra strain on a family budget providing those." Also, Bradshaw said many people pay higher utility bills around the holidays.
Bradshaw stressed that many seniors deal with hunger around the holidays. She said many focus on providing for their loved ones and minimize their own grocery budgets. Similarly, she said many choose to pay for medicines instead of food.
"I could not make the dishes with all the ingredients that it takes," said Karen Seabolt, a senior living on a fixed income. "I can buy some, but it is so nice to get a vast majority of the stuff that we use with the Food Bank."
The Food Bank began a relationship with West Edison Plaza, a low income, senior living facility in August. Seabolt said she is using some of the Food Bank resources to cook holiday meals for the complex's potlucks.
Bradshaw said if you want more information about the Food Bank's resources or want to volunteer, you may contact the 211 help line or the Food Bank. She said the additional help the Food Bank gets over the holiday season helps sustain the facility year round.