2020 is shaping up to be the hungriest year in modern history for U.S. families due to the stark economic effects of COVID-19. In Oklahoma alone, more than 180,000 residents applied for unemployment assistance by early August.
In Oklahoma City, home of Feed the Children’s corporate headquarters, the nonprofit has worked with Mission OKC throughout the years to help thousands of families who experience poverty and food insecurity. Mission OKC has walked door-to-door to personally deliver Feed the Children boxes of shelf-stable food, personal-care items, and an assortment of products to lend a helping hand during natural disasters, when school is out for the summer, and during the holiday season. However, since the pandemic hit, the partnership is even more important.
“COVID-19 has greatly affected the population we serve in our community,” said Anna Clement, children’s minister at Mission OKC. “I’ve had moms meet me at the end of the sidewalk when they see us walking through their apartment complex with food boxes and lunches. They always ask ‘Are you the ones that have boxes of food? I didn’t know what I was going to feed my kids today.’”
The demand for food is even greater during this global crisis. The food supply is strained, and humanitarian organizations are now serving families that have never needed help before. Recent figures estimate that one in four children in the U.S. don’t know where their next meal will come from, it used to be one in seven.
“Recently, a pregnant mother was driving around the neighborhood when she saw us. She was going house to house asking people for food because the WIC (Women Infants and Children) office was closed, and she had nowhere to go. We were able to leave lunches at her door that day, as well as Feed the Children food boxes that had all the nutrition they would need for a week,” said Clement.
As we continue to wade through our “new normal,” it’s important to open our minds and hearts to understand those who are suffering. Feed the Children’s community partnerships help bring forward a clearer picture of the challenges food-insecure families face.
“Feed the Children is an important partner for Mission OKC because they think and work like we do. Whenever disaster strikes, there is a crisis, or a huge need arises in our community and kids need to be fed, we work together,” said Clement.
Hunger is a big issue. We can’t do this without YOUR support. Your donations help us fill the shelves of partners like Mission OKC, and they help us put food in the hands of hungry children. Please join us to #defeahunger and help those who are struggling today. Hope for the future is possible while we work together to #CancelHunger.