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Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma sees increase in food distribution during pandemic

Posted at 8:45 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 00:38:11-04

TULSA, Okla. — We are proud to partner with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma for the Rebound: Feeding Green Country.

The food bank is feeding more people than ever and needs the community’s help.

“You know, right now, it seems like money is real hard to get," said Russell Abbott. "So, I appreciate any little bit of help I can get.”

Abbott used to volunteer for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. But after suffering a stroke and losing his job as a lawyer, he now relies on it for his meals.

“You know, my family helped me a lot, but, you know, it’s a strain on them too," he said. "So, yeah, it’s nice to have something come from the community to help.”

RELATED STORY: Rebound: Feeding Green Country

He’s not alone. Prior to COVID-19, the food bank distributed about 2.3 million pounds of food per month. In April, it distributed a record-breaking 3.8 million pounds of food, and it expects May to top that.

“There’s a long line of cars every Thursday," said Lori Long, CEO of the food bank. "And these are people who are showing up that need our assistance.”

Long has been in charge of the food bank for just seven weeks. She said the pandemic has made them change the way they meet the needs of the community.

“We are preparing and we are planning for the marathon, not the sprint," she said.

The food bank already partners with more than 350 agencies to distribute food to the community, and it hopes to increase that number. But with that, comes a financial burden. They could use donations from the community to help them continue feeding others.

“Whether that’s $5, whether that’s $10,000," Long said. "Whether that’s a bag of rice, whether that’s corporate volunteers that are coming to support our cause. It takes all of us as a community to make it happen.”

The financial burden isn't stopping them from helping others knowing there is a long road to recovery.

“It’s about going above and beyond," Long said. "It’s about recognizing that need and saying yes, we can meet that need, and we’re going to do everything we can to help these people.”

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