Faith community discusses hunger and poverty in Oklahoma

Members of the metro faith community recently gathered to discuss ways to combat hunger and poverty in Oklahoma.
by Carla Hinton Published: August 25, 2012

— Carol Wagle started feeding dinner to children in her northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex when she noticed they were famished.

Soon, the compassionate woman turned to her church, Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene, for help. Now, with the church's assistance, Wagle cheerfully doles out plates of spaghetti, beans and, sometimes, Popsicles to neighboring children and their struggling families.

“I can't feed my daughter and turn another kid away — I just won't do it,” she said at a recent gathering at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 5024 N Grove.

Wagle joined about 70 people who attended the “Fighting Hunger in Oklahoma” forum on Aug. 11 at the church. Organizers designed the event as an opportunity for members of the faith community to discuss ways to combat hunger and poverty and to meet with the Keaton Andreas, an Oklahoma native who serves as a regional director for Bread for the World, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for the rights of the impoverished.

Andreas; Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma; the Rev. William Tabernee, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches; and Richard Klinge, associate director of advocacy, outreach and legal service with Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City, were guest speakers at the forum.

Several speakers like Bivens and Klinge said the drought affecting Oklahoma and many parts of the United States will likely result in higher food prices. The leaders said the higher prices will negatively impact already struggling families and also will mean higher costs for the food bank and local food pantries.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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