Food Bank To Help Afghan Refugees Settling In Tulsa

Tuesday, September 28th 2021, 1:00 pm
By: Mallory Thomas

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The first refugees from Afghanistan are in Oklahoma and nearly 800 more are expected to call Tulsa home soon.

Hundreds of meals were boxed up for those families at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Two volunteers packed up 800 meals for people they will likely never meet. 

"We've had a lot of food to package, a lot of people to help," said Bill Rohlman.

Rohlman spent several hours at the food bank preparing individual meals and boxing them up for distribution. The receipts for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal are specifically chosen. 

"I like to call it infused cooking is infusing some of their natural flavors and cooking methods into some of the things that they might see here," said Jeff Marlow.

Marlow is the food bank's chief culinary officer and said once an Afghan refugee arrives in Tulsa, they'll receive these frozen meals while settling into their new life. 

"This has got to be a big challenge, a big change in their life right now. So we're trying to meet their culture and the ethnic backgrounds of their food with buying the products that they would normally see and cooking meals that they would normally see at home," said Marlow.

Workers and volunteers said it is important to them, to welcome these refugees as they would new neighbors. "It gives me satisfaction. It gives me a purpose. Something I can do outside the home. Some way of helping other people that may need help," said Rohlman.

For more information about the meal preparation: Go to For anyone who would like to help with the costs involved in bringing a taste of home to our new neighbors goes to donate/