United Voice: Food Pantry Steps Up For Lyrewood Community


Wednesday, August 12th 2020, 9:50 am
By: Ashley Holden


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A food pantry in Oklahoma City's Lyrewood neighborhood is making big strides and finding new ways to help the community.

The people helping the Tulakes Pantry and Clinic got to know the neighborhood in very different ways. 

"To me personally Lyrewood is not really spoke about," said well-known rapper and poet Gregory II. 

As a Lyrewood native Gregory said, this is simply his home. His mom still lives in the community along with friends. 

"I was always told growing up, coming from more of a suburban background, this was an area you don't want to travel down," said Yukon native Sam O'Bannon.

This was O'Bannon's only introduction to the neighborhood until he got involved, along with Gregory, at the pantry and clinic.

"It was flipped 180," said O'Bannon. "When I started meeting the people, it's the people [that] have changed me more than I can change them."

Less than a year later, O'Bannon is the food pantry director. He and the other organizers have been able to help the pantry and clinic expand in size and services. 

"On Saturday's both sides turn into a full running free medical clinic for the community," said O'Bannon. 

They also help people in the area get food and clothes. Organizers have also started hosting weekly events for the young people in the community. 

"When I was here growing up in Lyrewood we didn't have a place like this, and having this now is just a blessing for everyone," said Gregory.

"I'm literally seeing the pieces come together," said Tulakes Community Church Pastor Thaddeus Black.

He and his congregation are in charge of operating the pantry and clinic.

"The lord has blessed us with this space, and we're not moving until we find a place in this area," said Pastor Black. 

He's hoping their group can eventually find a building that could house a church and their services. But for now he's hoping people just come visit Lyrewood and see the beauty of people.

"Come to the community," said Pastor Black. "Cross the bridge, and you can come right to the pantry."

Pastor Black and everyone involved at the pantry and clinic are hoping people can start helping immediately. They are hosting a drivethru school supply event and are still looking for donations and volunteers. 

If you would like more information head to the pantry and clinic's official Facebook page.

News 9 is part of a local initiative that brings all of our local media outlets together to give Oklahoma a United Voice in promoting a healthy dialogue on race. To see more stories, visit UnitedVoiceOK.org.