October 12, 2013
“Neighbors helping neighbors” is how Sandra Levins, one of the leaders of Bryan County Coalition Against Hunger, likes to characterize the County’s renewed effort to get food to its many hungry people.
About the upcoming kick-off of the hunger-awareness campaign, Levins said, “I like the slogan ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ to make it more personal and to let them know the food would stay in Bryan County.”
The campaign will kick-off Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the First Texoma National Bank meeting room in the 200 block of West Main Street, next door to the United Way office. It will start at 6 p.m.
Coalition Chair Dave Northcutt has lined up five well-informed presenters for the evening:
- John Bobb-Semple, Project Manager for Community Initiatives with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
- Sue Stanfield, Director of Hands of Hope
- Tish Burkhalter, Director of Families Feeding Families
- Marilyn Hitchcock, Director of St. Catherine’s Food Bank
- Pam Robinson, Director of Bryan County United Way.
They will speak on issues involving hunger and the services provided by the Regional Food Bank and local food sources.
In a newsletter column he writes, Northcutt said, “Through this event we are giving a platform to those who are fighting hunger every day here locally the ability to share with us the pressing needs facing a silent and suffering part of our communities while also being able to share with us what their needs are and how we are able to help further.”
The meeting is open to the public, and special invitations are extended to public officials and local business people. Refreshments will be provided by Durant Attorney Theresa McGehee.
“This evening can serve as an effective means to bringing much greater awareness to the issues of hunger in our local community, what is currently being done, and what more needs to be done,” Northcutt said.
Facts About Hunger in Bryan County
- 8,000-10,000 people in Bryan County experience perpetual hunger
- 3,000 to 4,000 of them are children
- 80% of those who are hungry work at low wages, most of the others are children and elderly
(This information is based on studies by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Census Bureau, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology “Living Wage Calculator.”)