My mom often tells a story about a time when our family was extremely poor.  Poor to the point that they foraged for food and used dandelion greens and hunted rabbits to keep us in food.  She remembers going to the grocery store and having just enough for some dried beans and an onion.  She was going to make a big pot of red beans to keep us eating until payday.  While she was in line, the lady before her asked her young child to go back and get another roast from the meat department.  While everyone was waiting, the lady told the cashier that the meat was for the dog – because food stamps wouldn’t pay for real dog food.  At that, my mother burst into tears and her attitude about people on assistance was firmly set.

It’s sad that when we think of people on assistance, we often think of the type of woman above.  The type who try and fool the system to get more than they need and more than some really hard-working poor have.  Those are the stories we tell each other because it makes us feel better that these people aren’t as bad off as they make it seem.

In reality, though, there are over 17 million households in American that are not sure where the next meal is coming from.  That means the 16.2 million children who live in those households are note getting enough nutritious food on a regular basis.  Almost half our population in the United States lives at or near the poverty line.  $36 a month could tip many of them over the edge.

What does $36 really look like?

You can buy $9 in food each week for that amount.  You could buy a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a pound of dry beans, a dozen eggs, a pound of cheap ground beef and a package of cheap bologna.  That $36, if used really wisely, could feed a family of four for almost an entire week.  But, you couldn’t buy fresh veggies for the kids, fresh fruit or snacks.  The big difference here is keeping them ALIVE – but not necessarily keeping them healthy.

Happy Holidays?

To make all this even better for those who are seeing benefits cut, it happened right before the holidays.   Imagine the stress, not just of worrying if you could buy presents for the kids, but worrying if you can even FEED the kids since the money runs out $36 sooner.  We want to help.  If all we can do is make sure the organizations who provide food to needy families have what THEY need – we’ll do it.

Organizations You Can Help as THEY Help the Hungry:

  • Salvation Army – 355-1802
    • 1306 E Ave
    • Pantry Hours are Mondays through Thursdays 10a-12p and 1p-3p and Friday 10a-12p
  • House of Bread Ministries Food Pantry – 248-8519
    • Call ahead to make sure they are open.  Documentation required
    • 1415 Wisconsin in Lawton
  • Faith Based Church of God
    • 1105 SW F Ave
    • 357-3203
    • Call for hours but generally the 4th Saturday of every other month (Jan, March, May, July, Sept. Nov) 9a – Noon
  • Armed Services YMCA
    • 201 S 4th St
    • 355-5520
    • Serves active duty military and their family and must be referred from a Fort Sill chaplain, the ACS or other Fort Sill entity.  Documentation and current military ID required.
    • Hours are M-F 7a-6:30p
  • Agape Faith Worship Center Food Pantry
    • 19 NE 20th
    • 355-0633
    • 3rd Saturday of every month, 9:30 – Noon
  • Heartland SHARE
    • 609 SW B Ave Ste 2
    • 357-7280
    • M-Thur 9a-5p, closed 1p-2p for lunch
  • Bethlehem Bread of Life Food and Clothing Ministry
    • 602 NW Arlington Ave
    • 354-9266
    • M-F 10a-12p
  • Lawton Food Bank
    • 1405 SW 20th St
    • 353-7994