Welcome from the HFO Executive Director
Thank you for your interest in the issue of hunger and the work of our organization. Hunger Free Oklahoma was founded with the belief hunger is solvable, unnecessary and, in a country as rich as ours, unjust.
Oklahoma has some of the worst hunger statistics in the nation. Hunger in our state has many faces and takes many forms. Hunger may be chronic for a low income senior who struggles to leave their home, it may be seasonal for a landscaper and his family, or it may be brought about by a family crisis or unexpected expense. It could be the student sitting next to your child in class, your neighbor across the street, or your coworker who is a single parent struggling to make ends meet.
Those of us who are fortunate may never experience hunger, but we are impacted by it whether or not we know it. Hunger impacts Oklahomans’ health, work productivity, educational attainment, and economic potential. All of these things impact Oklahoma’s prosperity.
We believe that we cannot solve many of the major issues facing Oklahoma today without addressing the very real problem of hunger. Hunger Free Oklahoma leverages the power of collaboration to solve hunger in Oklahoma by improving systems, policies, and practices.
When we think about solutions to hunger, most of us think of food drives, our local pantries, or other charitable programs. These are wonderful examples of neighbors helping neighbors in need, and of programs that we as Oklahomans are particularly proud of, but they are only one crucial piece of a more comprehensive solution.
Throughout Oklahoma, state, local, and tribal governments are getting food and resources to Oklahomans in need via our national nutrition programs. Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Summer Meals Program for children provide access to necessary nourishment for kids and families who may otherwise go hungry. As our Assessment of Hunger in Oklahoma shows, by working together to access more of these resources we could fully address hunger in Oklahoma.
The barriers to ending hunger are complicated, but not complex. Oklahoma benefits from the tireless work of many public and private agencies working to address hunger. Unfortunately, this work often happens in silos which frequently results in organizations operating in isolation, limiting their impact and effectiveness. Hunger Free Oklahoma exists to break down those silos, and bring everyone to the table by providing research, strategic planning, and support in order to create consensus and commitment to sustainable solutions.
I hope you will take a moment to further explore our website, learn more about the issue of hunger in Oklahoma, and most importantly, get involved.
Together we can end hunger in Oklahoma.