In Oklahoma, 1 in 5 kids is at risk of going to bed hungry each night, according to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
A national hunger study this year showed a 50 percent increase in demand for food from partner agencies of the Food Bank of Oklahoma, said Dawn Burroughs, a volunteer coordinator for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
“That increase is strictly because of the economy,” she said. “And it’s shocking how many people are in need of food assistance, but with the economy like this, we expect this to continue.”
Oklahoma is the fourth hungriest state in the United States, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Oklahoma City is ranked 12th of all the metropolitan areas in the United States for food hardship.
People are facing tough decisions choosing between food or paying the bills, medication, and necessities. With families’ low income, healthy food choices are not an option.
Angie Gaines, the coordinator of the Youth Leadership Board for the food bank, said that oddly enough, fast food and junk food are more affordable than fruits and vegetables. If comparing the two, a McChicken from McDonalds is a dollar and carrots can go up to three or four dollars.