HollyFrontier Kicked Off Giving Season with Iron Gate
Seven hundred Tulsa families had a happier holiday thanks to HollyFrontier Tulsa. The refinery spread holiday cheer by donating $15,000 to Iron Gate. The gift provided enough groceries to feed 700 Tulsa families, which was 50% of Iron Gate’s food pantry budget for December.
“This is one of those calls you never expect to get, but you’re so thrilled when you do,” said Iron Gate’s Executive Director Carrie Vesely Henderson. “I was just tallying the bills for our grocery program, when I got this call from HollyFrontier Tulsa. I mean it was right on time.”
In addition, the Tulsa refinery employees put together 2,500 kid-friendly packs filled with healthy snacks for Iron Gate’s youngest guests. The agency gave one to every child who took part in the daily community meal, and every parent who visited the grocery pantry received one for each child in their home. Iron Gate distributed nearly 12,000 kids packs this past season.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on our most vulnerable families and that is why we partnered with Iron Gate,” said Skipp Kistler, vice president and refinery manager, HollyFrontier Tulsa. “We wanted to bring a ray of hope to people in need this holiday season, beyond our regular contributions to local causes. This year, we dug deeper. Along with our employees, we decided to donate the funds we had set aside for our holiday activities.”
Hunger Doesn’t Take a Break
Since the pandemic struck, demand for food assistance has grown exponentially. As Tulsa’s largest stand-alone soup kitchen and grocery pantry, Iron Gate is providing grocery assistance for 90% more households than last year.
“We continue to see the line for groceries stretch down the block,” Henderson said. “I check-in every family that comes to us for groceries and every week there are new faces.”
As demand has increased, so have costs. Iron Gate is purchasing more food to make sure every household has the basics covered. Additionally, Iron Gate has temporarily suspended its volunteer program to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved, cutting its workforce in half. That means the organization is buying more food to serve more people, with less staff who are working more hours.
“Iron Gate really prides itself on the fact that we have served every day of this pandemic without interruption,” Henderson continued. “But that’s only possible because of the generosity of our supporters and corporate friends, like HollyFrontier.”
About Iron Gate
Iron Gate is Tulsa’s largest stand-alone soup kitchen and grocery pantry. Iron Gate has served throughout the Coronavirus pandemic without interruption.
The organization pivoted to a carry-out meal every morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and hosts a drive-through, low-contact grocery pantry three times a week.
Iron Gate has served 251,667 meals, provided emergency groceries to 16,015 Tulsa households, and distributed 480,450 pounds of groceries so far this year.
Iron Gate is providing groceries to 90% more families than this time last year. Iron Gate was founded in 1978 and became an independent 501c3 nonprofit in 1984. It moved into its new building on Archer in late August of 2019. The new six-million-dollar facility features an expanded dining room, covered patio, and a dedicated grocery pantry.
HollyFrontier Corp., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is an independent petroleum refiner and marketer that produces high value light products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other specialty products.
HollyFrontier owns and operates refineries in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Utah and markets its refined products principally in the Southwest U.S., the Rocky Mountains extending into the Pacific Northwest and in other neighboring Plains states. In addition, HollyFrontier produces base oils and other specialized lubricants in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, and exports products to more than 80 countries.