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In Oklahoma Panhandle, 'food desert' feels more literal

Couple says “food desert” feels a little more literal in the Oklahoma Panhandle, which has been in a severe drought for more than three years.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: June 8, 2014
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“A lot of times, it depends on if you have enough money worked out to go do the big shopping,” Gayla Hartley said.

Gayla Hartley helps care for older residents in the community who aren’t able to drive to grocery stores.

Several people in the region have cattle, and some grow gardens and can save their food for later, although gardening has proved more difficult.

“Food desert” feels a little more literal in the Oklahoma Panhandle, which has been in a severe drought for more than three years.

Overall, the Hartleys have adjusted to not having some of the conveniences of Oklahoma City, although they wish someone would build a Sonic Drive-In close by.

But they love the people of Felt and the beauty of an Oklahoma Panhandle sunset.

On Sunday, they usually have a congregation of about 50 people.

“When we came up here and met the people, we just really felt it was where God was calling us,” Gayla Hartley said. “It was beautiful, and we just kind of fit in, and we felt like we were meant to serve here.”

 

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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