OKC Metro Food Banks Stretched Thin As Congress Cuts Food Stamp Budget
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma - Food pantries across the Oklahoma City metro are being stretched thin, hitting records this holiday season. The driving force is budget cuts in Congress. Now, millions of Americans on food stamps are receiving less money.
Comparatively speaking, Oklahoma was already in bad shape. Each year, both government and private organizations rank the Sooner State as one of the hungriest in the country. In Guthrie, bags were being stuffed with food Tuesday. It's one of the most stressful, yet rewarding times of the year at God's Food Bank, Inc.
"A lot of them, it's all they get is what they get from here," food bank volunteer Dennis Brunner said.
Carol Thorn is the operations manager at God's Food Bank. She's been on the job for five years. Thorn is expecting 100 additional families this week, totaling 600.
"We run 60 families through here every Wednesday in one hour," Thorn said. "We're very organized."
With recent donations lower than expected, volunteers have been crossing their fingers in these final days before the holidays. Wednesday will be a big day for God's Food Bank. That's when turkeys will be given out for Thanksgiving, and the parking lot outside the center is expected to be full of people.
"Whenever we're giving out turkeys and chickens, we'll get them all," Thorn said. "We're preparing for that."
In October, God's Food Bank hit a record of 65 new families registering with the organization. Thorn says without the generous support of the Regional Food Bank, United Way and the Catholic Church, hundreds would go hungry.
"We are on this earth to serve other people," said Brunner. "Jesus did it for us. We are to do it for others."
Food bank workers are always in need of food, money and volunteers. God's Food Bank is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It's located next to Guthrie High School at 1324 N. Wentz in Guthrie.
According to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, more than 675,000 Oklahomans are constantly wondering where their next meal will come from. To help News 9's effort to feed hungry children, click here. (link to News 9's effort to feed hungry children.)