When it comes to hunger, Oklahoma is far from OK.
- Over 15% of Oklahoma households are food insecure - which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Empty kitchen pantries at home can cause real problems in the office by decreasing work productivity and increasing the likelihood of illness. That means more sick days and less paydays.
- One in four Oklahoman children (that’s 226,390 kids!) go hungry every day. Missing meals doesn’t just impact a kid’s stomach - it impacts their whole life. Food insecure children have lower math and reading scores, have a harder time concentrating in school, have more significant behavior and social problems, and are less likely to graduate high school.
- You’re familiar with the beautiful deserts of the Southwest but are you familiar with food deserts? Food deserts are areas in which it is difficult or nearly impossible to buy fresh, affordable, healthy food. So instead of fruits and vegetables, folks are filling their plates with cheap, unhealthy meals which can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Out of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, 32 of them are food deserts. That’s 32 too many.
- 62% of Oklahoma students depend on free and reduced meal programs at school to get the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Kids should be hungry to learn - not hungry for food.
Hunger Free Oklahoma is working to solve the hunger crisis through research, collaboration, policy, advocacy, and practice. They conduct independent research to gather hard data on the issues, collaborate with nonprofits, schools, and statewide coalitions to share information and resources, work with elected officials to create policies that will solve these problems, advocate for change at the local, state, and national level, and put these programs into practice in our community.