Tulsa food banks short on donations due to high demand

Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 11:01:42-04

TULSA -- Celeste Ortega has been working in the food pantry at South Tulsa Community House for about three months now. 

Before that she was homeless and dependent on any help she could get. She said her needs are simple. 

"If you have housing and food, I'll probably tear up here, but if you have that you should be thankful," Ortega said.

They try to keep the pantry stocked but at the end of the month, when paychecks aren't stretching, and children are home for the summer, residents in the Riverwood neighborhood in south Tulsa need just a little help to keep from going hungry.

"I don't have enough this month," said Riverwood resident Silvia Hinkle. "So sometimes I come here to get help."

Another resident, Shantell Carter, also spoke out about the food pantry. 

"This is our first time of falling short in 20 years, and we're blessed to get this, because I get paid Friday and it's going to carry us until then," Carter said.

Most of the people who visit the South Tulsa Community House do have jobs, but like much of America, the jobs offer minimum wage which makes it tough to live. Other who visit are disabled, veterans or senior citizens.

Those in need are only able to get a week's worth of food once every month. The food pantry depends on money from their foundations, the government, donations from local grocers, and individuals.

But it's not always enough.

"We try to keep the pantry stocked, but when we get a large number of families come in, it can clean out the shelves in a hurry, and we just have to shut the doors," said Doug Crews, with South Tulsa Community House.

The food pantry fed 52 households Monday before they had to close the doors early. 

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