Oklahomans compassionate in helping less fortunate

BY RODNEY W. BIVENS Published: July 11, 2012
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One in seven Oklahomans wakes up every day not certain about where the next meal will come from, or if there will even be a next meal. They're part of the more than 675,000 Oklahomans struggling with hunger.

Many of them work but don't make enough to pay all the bills and still have money left for food. Many are seniors living on fixed incomes facing increasing medical expenses. Too many are children who are born into poverty and hungry due to circumstances beyond their control.

Oklahoma continues to rank among the top five states in the nation in food insecurity. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 people each week. But that isn't enough to satisfy demand.

Fortunately, Oklahomans are incredibly generous and compassionate. When presented with a need, they respond. This year's Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers' Food and Fund Drive is an example of this compassion in action. This monthlong effort had the support of corporate sponsors, led by Devon, Chesapeake, The Oklahoman and the U.S. Postal Service; letter carriers in 100 cities; more than 160 local businesses; and thousands of volunteers and individuals who took the time to fill a plastic bag with canned food and leave it at their mailbox. The drive brought in 806,068 pounds of food and $1.7 million, providing more than 6 million equivalent meals.

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