More than 650,000 Oklahomans, a third of them children, lack reliable access to sufficient food, according to a Hunger Free Oklahoma study. Food pantries like The Urban Mission in Oklahoma City play a vital role in providing resources to people experiencing food shortages.
Food insecurity, often the result of financial deprivation, goes beyond the individual physiological condition of hunger. In food-insecure households, certain conditions exist, such as: The food people buy doesn’t last and they don’t have the money to buy more; families can’t afford to eat balanced meals; the adults cut the sizes of meals or skip meals because they run out of money or save the food for their children. In many cases, family members go hungry for a time or lose weight because they lack the money to buy food.
In this video series, Oklahoma Watch profiles individuals whose quiet struggles in life reflect some of the larger issues facing the state. The series is made possible by a sponsorship from the Chickasaw Nation.