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.
Find out more about the 2018 Farm Bill.
Hunger Free Oklahoma in the News.Read news coverage highlighting Hunger Free Oklahoma team members and work.
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.”
“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.”
“OKDHS also recently launched SNAP in Schools, a partnership with Oklahoma State Department of Education and the nonprofit Hunger Free Oklahoma.”
“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.”
“Tulsa Public Schools and Hunger Free Oklahoma are trying out a program to help needy families get money for food.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Oklahoma officially ranks last in summer lunch participation for 2017, the same spot it held in 2016.”
““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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Press Release: White House Budget Proposal puts hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans at risk of hunger, takes money away from local economies, drastically reduces the effectiveness of nation’s strongest public-private partnership.
The following statement has been issued by Hunger Free Oklahoma, The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in response to the proposed budget released by the White House.
Hunger by the numbers. “nearly one in four Oklahoma children (24 percent) is food insecure, meaning they have limited or inconsistent access to adequate food.”
Chris Bernard: Oklahoma, your friends and neighbors are hungry, and you can do more to deal with it, Tulsa World
One in four children in Oklahoma is hungry. One in six Oklahoma households experiences hunger. Oklahoma is last in the nation at feeding children over the summer. These aren’t just statistics; these are your friends and neighbors unable to access a basic human need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
SNAP helped 874,873 Oklahomans (54 percent of whom were children), or 14 percent of all Oklahoma households, feed their families.
El Reno Public Schools and Broken Arrow Public School are using food trucks to provide summer meals to kids.
“The closing of the only grocery store in a neighborhood west of downtown last month created more desolation in an already struggling area.”