September Proclaimed “Hunger Action Month”
Both Governor Brad Henry and Mayor Kathy Taylor have proclaimed September “Hunger Action Month” in an effort to mobilize the public to take action against domestic hunger. Right here in Eastern Oklahoma, the number of people seeking food at emergency food pantries has risen by about 40 percent over the past year due to the economic downturn.
More than 465,000 Oklahomans are considered food insecure, which means they do not have regular access to enough nutritious food for a healthy life. According to the , Oklahoma is the eighth hungriest state in the nation and more than one in five Oklahoma children is at risk of going to bed hungry.
“Our goal for Hunger Action Month is to educate our citizens about the problem of hunger right here in our own backyard and show them some of the many ways they can take action against hunger, not just in September, but every month,” says Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma has a number of events planned in observance of Hunger Action Month. On Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. Mayor Taylor, along with other state and local dignitaries, will officially kick off the month’s activities during a reception at the Food Bank. Following the reception, the public is invited to attend an Open House at the Food Bank between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Cooking demonstrations are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and interactive tours every half hour. The tours will highlight the many ways people can take action against hunger. The Food Bank is offering lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for $10. The cost includes a choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, cookie and bottled water packaged in an insulated, reusable lunch bag. Please pre-order your lunch by calling (918) 585-2800.
The third annual Restaurant Week, presented by TulsaPeople Magazine and Omni Air International, is scheduled Sept. 13 – 19. This fundraising event encourages people to dine out at some of Tulsa’s finest restaurants and pay only $12.95 for lunch and $29.95 for dinner. The price includes an appetizer, main course and dessert and ten percent of the proceeds will go to the Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Programs.
On Sept. 24 classical musicians Karl M. Johnson, Lon de Ada, Joesf Glaude and the Tulsa Friends of Chamber Music will perform a live concert at the Harwelden Mansion, 2210 S. Main in Tulsa, from 7 – 9 p.m. Refreshments, including wine and cheese, will be served. The cost of this evening’s entertainment is $10 or 10 cans of food.
The Cheesecake Factory, located near Woodland Hills Mall, is taking action against hunger in September. Throughout the month, 25 cents of each slice of their new Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake sold will be donated to the Food Bank. On Sept. 30, for every guest that brings in two cans of soup, The Cheesecake Factory will donate 10 percent of their guest check to the Food Bank as well.
Other ways people can take action against hunger in September is to skip lunch at least once during the month and donate what you would have spent to the Food Bank as part of the Skip Lunch, Feed a Bunch campaign. Every dollar you contribute can provide enough food for seven meals!
Organizations are also encouraged to organize a food and fund drive during the month of September. The Food Bank’s goal is to have a food drive going on every day that month.
“Helping families in our community with the most basic need – food for their families – is vital,” said Mayor Kathy Taylor. “The number of families served by the Food Bank has dramatically increased in the last six months. It is easy to help—donate nonperishable food and help us fight hunger.”
For more information on these and other ways you can take action against hunger in September, visit the Food Bank’s Web site, CFBEO.