Regional Food Bank Reaching Out To Seniors In Need

Tuesday, February 15th 2011, 6:52 pm
By: News 9

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Every day in Oklahoma, 500,000 people are at risk of going hungry, and many of those are seniors living on fixed incomes.

For every dollar, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma can provide seven meals to hungry Oklahomans, and among those it's feeding seniors with little extra money for food.

Ten housing authority sites are set up in the Oklahoma City area that the Regional Food Bank serves. Once a month, food is passed out by the organization's workers and volunteers.

"In Oklahoma about two-thirds of the seniors are at risk for going to bed hungry. Everyday a lot of them are living on fixed incomes," said Emily Windahl, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Becky Love is among those who depend on the extra groceries. She said transportation is a real problem for many people because they simply don't have a way to get to the store.

"It fills in what you're getting short on a lot of the times. Running out of bread is a constant problem," Love said. "I'm low income. At the end of the month it's getting kind of close to low on food. It helps me out tremendously."

About 4,000 seniors are helped every month through programs designed specifically for them. The goal is to fight hunger among the vulnerable.

"They often have to make the choice between paying for medication and health care or buying food. About 27 percent of the seniors in our service area said that that choice is a problem for them," Windahl said.

The food bank also has a senior home delivery program and also gives out pantry boxes through senior nutrition programs.