Making an Impact
TULSA – Every year, Tulsa Adventist Academy (TAA) students in grades 7-12 volunteer at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in north Tulsa. For many, it is repeat experience but for those who attend the first time, it is always a surprise that it is so rewarding. TAA recently attended its first of several volunteer days this school year. The day’s assignment was sorting fresh corn into five-pound bundles, weighing it and collecting it.
In all, the 26 students and several teachers and staff sorted more than 3,300 pounds of corn that could be served at 3,317 meals. With the food deserts in Tulsa, meals with fresh vegetables are highly valuable. Food deserts are areas where there is little-to-no access to fresh produce and wholesome food, such as at a grocery store.
According to the Tulsa-area food bank, there are more than 35,000 children in Tulsa County who are “food insecure” meaning those children do not know where their next meal will come from and poverty is closely tied to food insecurity. Volunteering at the food bank helps TAA students work in small teams and also provides awareness that not everyone is on equal footing. One freshman noted that she had never considered being wasteful with her food until she sorted the corn with her classmates. “We should make sure we only get what we will eat. There are people starving near my school and I didn’t even know it,” she continued. TAA students look forward to serving Tulsa County through its food bank at several more events through the school year.
By Caroline A. Fisher