I know what you are thinking, another post about food. But, it is important to continue discussing the food crisis in Oklahoma. Since I am a numbers person, I thought I would share some statistics about hunger in Oklahoma.
According to Oklahoma Food Bank Network:
- According to the USDA, Oklahoma ranks 8th in the nation in the number of people per capita who are hungry.
- We are 7th in the nation in those who are food insecure, which means that the food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food.
- The percentage of Oklahoma’s population classified as food insecure is 13.0 %, well above the national average of 11.3%.
- One in every five Oklahoma children lives in poverty and is at risk of going to bed hungry.
- Of the elderly who receive food through Oklahoma’s Food Bank System, 32 % report having to choose between buying food or paying for medicine or medical care.
- 32 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties are classified as “food deserts,” meaning that at least 25 percent of the population lives ten miles or more from a supermarket or supercenter. Nine of those counties are “severe food deserts,” meaning that the entire population has limited access to such food outlets. These counties are Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Hughes and Jefferson Counties.
- Of households experiencing hunger, less than 20 % are classified as unemployed. More than one-third are disabled and/or retired, while the remaining 46% have at least one working member.
- According to a 2007 study by the Sodexho Foundation, Oklahoma loses an estimated $1.4 billion each year from hunger through illness, increased illness and decreased academic achievement alone.
The two regional food banks in Oklahoma distribute about 42 million pounds of food to families, churches, food pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations around the state every year. Despite this amazing service to our state, we still have families who have to choose between paying the electric bill and having food.
To learn more about the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma click here.
To learn more about the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma click here.
To locate the food bank nearest to you click here.