DHS and food bank discuss
closing of Angel Food Ministries
The Department of Human Services partnered with the Angel Food Ministries program.
The Angel Food program was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to accept food stamps, so DHS workers advised recipients that Angel Food was a food resource available to them, said Debra Martin, DHS communications manager.
Since March 2011, the number of food stamp recipients has increased every month, with August 2011 setting a record of 622,911 people. That number is up 8,835 from July 2011. Nearly 275,000 children in Oklahoma are in families that use food stamps.
DHS expects a continued increase in the number of Oklahomans seeking assistance, Martin said.
Dawn Burroughs, spokeswoman for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, said that although they don't have any idea how much food was distributed through the Angel Food program in Oklahoma, any loss of food for families who are struggling to make ends meet is going to ultimately affect the food bank and its partner agencies.
There are many people who make just enough money that they don't qualify for food stamps and other benefits, but not enough to allow them to shop for nutritious groceries at their local retailer, Burroughs said.
“The Angel Food Project helped fill that gap and meet that need for many Oklahomans,” she said. “We fully expect many of those people to now turn to our partner agencies, a majority of which are run by the faith-based community, to meet those needs.
“Sadly, those same pantries are already stretched pretty thin, and resources are not keeping up with the current demand.”