The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma reported that 16.1 percent of the Jackson County population struggles with food insecurity. That equates to 4,230 people.
Of the Jackson County population, 25 percent are ineligible for nutrition assistance programs and rely on the Regional Food Bank alone. In 2013 the Regional Food Bank distributed 519,684 pounds of food and product to Jackson County Residents.
Locally, groups such as Operation Care work on a regular basis to gather and distribute food to those in need. The Dollar Tree store in Altus recently donated more than 800 pounds of food to Operation Care for the their food drive.
Also to support the Operation Care Heaven’s Storehouse Food Pantry, Rooselvelt Elementary School is conducting a food drive. Operation Care recently visited the school and presented a puppet show to the students to better explain the importance of the drive.
Food Insecurity Facts:
Struggling with hunger affects 48.8 million Americans, including 16.2 million children. They live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year.
Food insecurity, or the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, exists in 17.2 million households in America. Of those, 3.9 million of them have children.
Rates of food insecurity are substantially higher than the national average among households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line. These include households with children headed by single parents (35.1% of female-headed households with children are food-insecure) and among Black and Hispanic households.
Food insecurity is most common in large cities but still exists in rural areas, suburbs and other outlying areas around large cities. Twenty-five percent of households with children living in large cities are food-insecure.
The typical (median) food-secure household spent 27 percent more for food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and composition.
Fifty-nine percent of food-insecure households reported that in the previous month they had participated in one or more of the three largest federal food and nutrition assistance programs: SNAP (formerly food stamps), School Lunch and WIC.
Where does Oklahoma stand?
Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top five states in the number of people that are hungry.
There are 653,820 food insecure people in Oklahoma (17.2 % of state population).
One in four Oklahoma children are at risk of going to bed hungry.
One in 16 Oklahoma seniors (age 60+) struggle with hunger.
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