When COVID-19 hit, things changed for all of us. Sporting events were canceled, schools closed, and many Oklahomans lost their jobs.
For store owners Rishit Kaneria and Adam Patel, they knew they couldn’t fix everything, but they could do something.
"We had a mother come in the store and she said 'my kids are going hungry,' and one of our customer service reps just asked her, 'where are the kids?' And she went and got three kids from the car and said, 'here are the kids,' so he gave them free food and told the owner and the owner from that day said, 'let's just give free food to any kid that comes in here that’s hungry; no questions asked,'" Patel said.
C Express started feeding any kid under the age of 18 that comes in the store.
The kids would have their choice of a free corn dog or a burrito with potato wedges and a drink, no questions asked.
This is at both their store locations because they say the communities have supported them.
"We’re a neighborhood gas station. It’s not big, it’s very small, it’s a mom and pop. The neighborhood is what made us. They supported us when we started, and we’re going to support them when they need us," Patel said.
Patel said seeing kids hungry breaks his heart, and they will continue to feed them as long as there is a need.
They encourage everyone to visit their Facebook page for other things they plan to do for the community.
"We have some upcoming things we are gonna try and do like a library from the gas station so kids can come get some books and stuff and they can read for free like a library exchange program", said Patel
The feeding program is currently at the C Express' two locations; 2319 E Lindsey Street in Norman and 5001 South May Avenue in Oklahoma City. The program is more designed for lunch but Patel said they won’t turn any kid away that’s hungry.