Oklahoma issuing entire month of SNAP benefits early amid federal government shutdown

Oklahomans who receive SNAP food benefits will be getting their February disbursements nearly two weeks early…

Experts weigh in on 2018 Farm Bill

The following article was submitted by Hunger Free Oklahoma, The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Oklahoma Policy Institute, and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in response to the proposed 2018 Farm Bill.

Ending Hunger.

Find out about HFO’s Pilot Project in this OETA segment featuring Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, as well as OSDE and Tahlequah Public Schools.

Oklahoma Missing Out on More than $400M a Year to Fight Hunger

“Going hungry means infants fall behind in brain development, older kids underachieve at school, and adults get sick or can’t work toward a better job.”

For media inquiries, contact Chris Bernard, Executive Director, chris.bernard@hungerfreeok.org, 918.264.0693

May 17, 2018

Proposed federal work requirements for SNAP benefits are too harsh and will leave people hungry

By Chris Bernard, Eileen Bradshaw, Courtney Cullison and Katie Fitzgerald

SNAP is the largest and most effective anti-hunger program in America, and its benefits extend beyond those who receive monthly benefits. SNAP works, and it works well — and yet it’s under attack.

Full Article


Find out more about the 2018 Farm Bill.


A Conversation with Chris Bernard, the Executive Director of Hunger Free Oklahoma, Public Radio Tulsa

Chris Bernard talks to Dr. John Schumann about the state of hunger in Oklahoma.

Hunger Free Oklahoma in the News.

Read news coverage highlighting Hunger Free Oklahoma team members and work.


Tulsa People: Tulsan of the Year: Judy Kishner

“This organization would not exist without Judy,” says Bernard.”

Tulsa Public Radio: Proposed SNAP Rule Change Would Not Have Immediate Impact on Oklahoma

“The proposed SNAP rule would not have an immediate impact in Oklahoma. It tightens guidelines for waivers states may request so SNAP recipients get benefits longer than allowed when jobs are hard to come by.”

Tulsa Public Radio: Compromise Farm Bill Sent to President Preserves Food Stamp Benefits for Estimated 97,000 Oklahomans

“A compromise Farm Bill sent to the president late Wednesday will not affect the one in seven Oklahomans receiving food stamps.”

Tulsa World: 121 percent more at-risk kids get after-school suppers, but Oklahoma still feeds fewer than average

“Richard Comeau, program director of Hunger Free Oklahoma, believes the state saw such a dramatic increase between 2016 and 2017 due to an initiative to raise awareness of after-school suppers.”

Tulsa Public Radio: Oklahoma Sees Nation's Largest Increase in After School Meal Participation But Has Room to Improve

“Oklahoma saw a big jump in after-school supper participation — 121 percent, to be exact — from October 2016 to October 2017, the biggest increase of any state.”

KTUL: Free dinner program for school kids gaining popularity

“It’ll help them be better in school, it’ll help them be more confident, it’ll help them to avoid meals by themselves, it’ll help them to not be hungry.”

Enid News & Eagle: Oklahoma working to close gap between SNAP and those in need

“OKDHS also recently launched SNAP in Schools, a partnership with Oklahoma State Department of Education and the nonprofit Hunger Free Oklahoma.”

Youth Today: Oklahoma Nonprofit Labors to Increase Kids Fed in Summer

“In Oklahoma, fewer than 5 percent of eligible children got summer lunches in 2017, compared with nearly 50 percent in the District of Columbia, according to the Food Research & Action Center.”

Public Radio Tulsa: Tougher SNAP Requirements in House Farm Bill Could Affect up to 97,000 Oklahomans

“Groups fighting hunger are paying attention as the U.S. House and Senate reconcile their different versions of the new farm bill.”

Public Radio Tulsa: TPS Testing Program to Help More Needy Families Get SNAP Benefits

“Tulsa Public Schools and Hunger Free Oklahoma are trying out a program to help needy families get money for food.”

Tulsa World: Local leaders say pervasive hunger impacting school, workplace performance in Tulsa

“Pervasive hunger and food insecurity is taking a toll on lifelong health and success across the Tulsa area, but local leaders say a significant portion of eligible residents are not seeking assistance.”

Tulsa World: Summer meal initiative to combat food insecurity enters second year

“Last year, #FoodforThought led to an increase in participation of nearly 9 percent over the previous year, with more than 125,000 additional meals served. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister expects participation to grow again this year.”

Public Radio Tulsa: Oklahoma Comes in 51st for Summer School Lunch Participation, Officially

“Oklahoma officially ranks last in summer lunch participation for 2017, the same spot it held in 2016.”

The Shawnee News-Star: Summer meal program: Free meals offered for children at local sites

““Last year, we increased the number of summer meals served by 14 percent over the year before. With this new mapping tool, even more families will have consistent access to summer meals at the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger,” said Oklahoma State Department of Education’s State Superintendent, Joy Hofmeister.”

News OK: Free meals during summer are underused by students

“Roughly 62 percent of students in Oklahoma qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year, according to the state Department of Education. Of those students, only about six percent were receiving meals as part of the Summer Food Service Program, said Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of education.”

Tulsa World: Web developers to converge at conference in Tulsa

“Local coder Vic Agbasi discovered a need in the fight to combat hunger in Oklahoma. …he met a representative from Hunger Free Oklahoma, who expressed a need for increasing the visibility of the summer meals program.”


Find out about HFO’s Pilot Project. Story by OETA, featuring Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, as well as OSDE and Tahlequah Public Schools.


Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, speaks on an Oklahoma Watch Out panel on the impact of hunger in Oklahoma.


Hunger in the News.

Read news coverage about hunger issues, opportunities, and improvements affecting Oklahomans.


Why Crackdown Fears May Keep Legal Immigrants From Food Stamps

A lot of them are saying, ‘Don’t apply for benefits, you’ll get deported.’ We try to explain to them, ‘That’s not how it works.’ But they just don’t want to renew their benefits any more. They want them to expire.

New grocery store to be built at Shoppes at Peoria

The Tulsa Economic Development Corp. has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant through the city of Tulsa to build a grocery store at the Shoppes on Peoria, 1717 N. Peoria Ave.

Navy Veteran Brings Relief to Local Food Desert in NE OKC

Access to affordable groceries just got a whole lot easier for many residents in northeast Oklahoma City. A new Save-A-Lot will provide access to fresh foods for many in one of Oklahoma City’s food deserts, an area where many low-income residents are living more than a mile from the nearest grocery store. The store is owned by a group of military veterans who open stores in similar need-based locations across the country.

This App Helps Food Stamps Last Longer And Recipients Avoid Going Hungry, Forbes.com

Propel introduced an app that allows people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–the official name for the food stamp program– to check their balances over their smart phones, do budgeting and look for discounts at stores.

Ginnie Graham: Tulsan to testify to Congress how anyone might need food stamps

“The most difficult thing a man has to do is ask for help. It hurts,” Parker said. “When someone helps you, you don’t forget it. I will be paying it forward. It won’t take me long to get back on my feet. It’s all coming together now, but it’s taken a long time to get here. I just have to have a little money to get by right now.”

Hunger by the Numbers: How many football staduims..., OKPolicy.org

Imagine that on a Saturday afternoon this fall, everyone who experienced food insecurity in Oklahoma were all invited down to Norman and Stillwater to attend football games.

Nutrition Programs Merit Feds' Support

SNAP helped 874,873 Oklahomans (54 percent of whom were children), or 14 percent of all Oklahoma households, feed their families.

Oklahoma schools using food trucks to combat child hunger in summer months

El Reno Public Schools and Broken Arrow Public School are using food trucks to provide summer meals to kids.

West Tulsa nonprofit prepares for increased demand after closing of area grocery store, Tulsa World

“The closing of the only grocery store in a neighborhood west of downtown last month created more desolation in an already struggling area.”

State’s Participation in Summer Meal Program Declines

In 2016, the participation numbers in Oklahoma’s Summer Meal Program declined.

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