The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 1, 2014

UPDATED: Food banks are facing summer shortages

ENID, Okla. — Local food banks are facing shortages during the summer months.

Children are out of school lunch programs, and people often forget to donate when there are not any major holidays, leaving the food banks to deal with an increase in clients and decrease in donations.

Carrie Sanders, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, said July and August were two of the bank’s busiest months in 2013.

“Enid Public Schools has a very high percentage of kids receiving free and reduced lunches during the year, and while they do offer a summer feeding program, it only covers the month of June,” Sanders said. “What are families to do in July and August?

While Loaves & Fishes helps an average of 700 families each month, last July and August the bank averaged 880, Sanders said.

“People are usually willing to give around the holiday season and before the new tax year; however, the greatest need is in the summer,” Sanders said.

Dawn Burroughs, vice president of marketing for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, said the food bank is lacking 3.4 million pounds of donated food as compared to this time last year.

Burroughs said the deficit represents more than 2.8 million meals for hungry people in the bank’s service area, which includes most of central and western Oklahoma.

“Donations of food are always welcomed, but the Regional Food Bank can do even more with donated funds,” Burroughs said. “For every dollar donated, the Regional Food Bank is able to return five equivalent meals to the community.”

Regional Food Bank’s most needed items include canned meat, canned vegetables, meat-based soups, peanut butter, rice and beans.

At Loaves & Fishes, Sanders said they try to plan ahead for summer, but more help always is appreciated. The biggest needs right now include canned fruit, canned vegetables, soup, peanut butter, tuna and cereal.

Home gardeners also can bring their extra produce, since Loaves & Fishes has cooler and freezer space for perishable items, Sanders said.

Household items like toilet paper, kitchen cleaning produces and hygiene items also are needed.

To donate at Loaves & Fishes, drop off donation in the food donation bin outside the front door anytime of day or night, or bring items to the warehouse 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday for help unloading.

Other donation options include: Shepherd’s Cupboard food pantry, Bethany United Methodist Church, 931 E. Maple, (580) 237-6611; North Garland Church of Christ, 703 N. Garland, (580) 237-4658; Salvation Army, 220 W. Pine, (580) 237-1910; and Our Daily Bread, 616 W Randolph, (580) 242-5718.

For information about how to help the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go to

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