Jason Hamlin Ministries International  &  Jason’s Dream

Oklahoma Hunger Facts



Information obtained from Hunger in Oklahoma

Whether in Oklahoma or elsewhere in the world, hunger rarely occurs because there is simply not enough food. Rather, hunger occurs because families and individuals cannot afford to buy food. The roots of Oklahoma's hunger problem are embedded in the plots of poverty amidst our pastures of plenty.

Here is a brief snapshot of Oklahoma's hungry:

  1. According to the USDA, Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation in the number of people per capita who are hungry. We are seventh in the nation in those who are food insecure, which means that the food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food.

  2. The percentage of Oklahoma's population classified as food insecure is 13.0 percent, well above the national average of 11.3.

  3. One in every five Oklahoma children lives in poverty and is at risk of going to bed hungry.

  4. Of the elderly who receive food through Oklahoma's Food Bank System, 32 percent report having to choose between buying food or paying for medicine or medical care.

  5. 32 of Oklahoma's 77 counties are classified as "food deserts," meaning that at least 25 percent of the population lives ten miles or more from a supermarket or supercenter. Nine of those counties are "severe food deserts," meaning that the entire population has limited access to such food outlets. These counties are Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Hughes and Jefferson Counties.

  6. Of households experiencing hunger, less than 20 percent are classified as unemployed. More than one-third are disabled and/or retired, while the remaining 46 percent have at least one working member.

  7. According to a 2007 study by the Sodexho Foundation, Oklahoma loses an estimated $1.4 billion each year from hunger through illness, increased illness and decreased academic achievement alone.

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