Community Food Bank

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank, as it's commonly known, is the largest private hunger-relief organization in eastern Oklahoma. It's been around since 1981. As noted at this nonprofit's website: "Our vision is food security, with dignity, for all eastern Oklahomans.... With locations in Tulsa and McAlester, we provide food and other donated goods to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, an interesting chat with Katie Plohocky, who is one of the founders of the locally based Healthy Community Store Initiative. This organization, as noted at its website, was formed "to address the food desert problem in Tulsa, Oklahoma....

Iron Gate, a nonprofit soup kitchen and food pantry at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa, began operations nearly forty years ago. It's still based at Trinity, but it's a separate facility -- make that a separate and vitally important facility -- that has drastically outgrown its workspace. Iron Gate, actually located in the crowded basement of Trinity, has an on-site dining area meant to seat 127 people, yet the facility serves food to 500 or 600 hungry Tulsans every day of the year.


For the rest of the month, Tulsa police and fire stations, and other city facilities will accept donations for the ‘Stock the Station’ holiday food drive. The non-perishable items go to the needy served by the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Director Eileen Bradshaw says it’s a time of year when people are thinking about those less fortunate. She says the need this year is greater than ever.

The food drive runs through the end of this month. 

KWGS News Photo

The federal government shutdown is impacting food banks some places across the U-S. So far, that’s not the case in Tulsa, but there is concern about what may happen here if the shutdown continues much longer. Maggie Hoey is with the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. She says there’s worry about the WIC…Women, Infants, and Children’s program. If it runs out of funds, the Food Bank may have to pick up the slack, tightening up supplies.                                 

The food bank already serves 275,000 meals a week in 24 counties in eastern Oklahoma.


The Tulsa Jewish Federation is partnering with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for the hungry. The project to provide the food is a community garden. Jewish Federation Director Drew Diamond says the produce will be donated to the food bank.

Ground was broken on the project today. The garden is on a plot of land owned by the Jewish Federation just north of 71st street. The first plantings in the garden will be in the fall.