TULSA, Okla. — With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there is a new initiative to help families not go hungry during the holiday.
"Many of our identified families don't have any other way of getting this food, so this is a way to provide meals to them," says Joy Ferrin, the assistant manager of community initiatives at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The food bank has partnered with 23 local public schools in their School Pantry Program to find students in their district who might need extra help this holiday season. These include schools in Tulsa, Berryhill and Broken Arrow.
On Wednesday, they will be preparing more than 200 "Holiday Helpings" boxes of nonperishable food items with traditional holiday food. Then, the schools will distribute them to the families before Thanksgiving break.
Ferrin says they are already thinking of ramping up the project.
"We are going to be doing this again December and distributing the boxes," says Ferrin.
If you're interested in helping and sponsoring a box, you can go to the food bank's website for more information. Each box is $40 and helps feed a family of six.
In Oklahoma, about 15.6% of the population was living in poverty in 2018, and many of them were under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The national poverty rate in 2018 was 11.8%.
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