OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Throughout September, several local hospitals and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation are partnering with The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma to feed hungry Oklahomans. INTEGRIS, Mercy and OU Medicine have joined together with the Community Foundation to provide warm meals and volunteer support at The Salvation Army Red Shield Diner & Kitchen each Thursday evening in an effort to address food insecurity throughout the Oklahoma City community.
“We serve approximately 200 diners each evening in our Red Shield Diner,” said Major Susan Ellis, area commander. “Our doors open each evening to our shelter guests first and then the community at large. Anyone in need of a free meal is welcome.”
According to the most recent studies, Oklahoma is one of the hungriest states in the country, leaving more than 120,000 Oklahoma County residents without adequate access to food. Heightening this food crisis, 52 percent of individuals experiencing food insecurity fall just shy of the poverty threshold to qualify for SNAP benefits. In Oklahoma County alone, the annual budget would require an additional $63 million to solve the problem of food insecurity, estimates Feeding America.
The Red Shield Diner & Kitchen serves free meals 365 days a year to Oklahoma County residents. Dinner is available to the public without demonstration of need. In addition, breakfast and lunch are served to individuals and families living in The Salvation Army’s emergency shelter. In 2018, the diner served over 80,000 meals with an average of 500-700 diners daily. The Red Shield Diner & Kitchen is located at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.
“Volunteering to serve in the Red Shield Diner & Kitchen is a great way to give back to those in need,” said Ellis. “There is such joy and appreciation on both sides of the table and the volunteer groups continue to return to serve in this most meaningful way.” If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Liz Banks, volunteer coordinator, at 405-246-1107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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