Tulsa Family Prepares Traditional Meals For Afghan Refugees Experiencing First Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24th 2021, 9:40 pm
By: Grant Stephens

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa family is making make sure Afghan refugees living in the city feel at home this Thanksgiving.

They're preparing to hand out traditional meals to dozens of Afghan families. There are hundreds of refugees in Tulsa that are learning new American traditions like Thanksgiving. Jenny Diveley hopes that giving them a familiar, homemade meal bridges a cultural gap.

She spent the day before Thanksgiving making naan, a type of flatbread extremely popular in the middle east. Food on the Move Executive Director Kevin Harper says Diveley and her family volunteered to help the refugees after they saw what was happening in Afghanistan.

"I kept thinking, 'What could I do?'" Diveley said. "It just didn't feel like I could do much."

Harper says the family started making a difference by delivering food to refugees.

"To give something that they're familiar with and it's homemade, what an amazing show of love to our new Tulsans," he said.

"One thing we know is every day we get there, one thing they love is naan bread ... She knew that, 'Hey this is something I could do to give back.'"

Food is humanity's great equalizer - and for hundreds of people in Tulsa whose lives across the world were upended it's a small step toward feeling normal again.

"While we know the Afghans don't celebrate Thanksgiving, probably don't know much about it at this point, they do know something is different about this day," Harper said.

"And so we're just going to try and celebrate with them as much as we can with giving them things we know they like ... It's more than just handing food to a person; it's building a relationship."