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Grab and go

Drew Butler
drew.butler@ardmoreite.com
Extra pallets of food sit outside the Food and Resource Center of South Central Oklahoma for anyone to come take as they need. The center has been receiving additional pallets of produce during the pandemic and have also given additional food to area nonprofits and organizations.

The Food and Resource Center of South Central Oklahoma has recently been placing extra produce and groceries outside in their parking lot for anyone to drop by and take as they need. The additional food is available In addition to their regular services and is available for a few hours in the morning on certain days of the week. The center alerts the public via social media when the food will be available.

Executive Director James Rosson said the center has recently been receiving larger truckloads of supplies, and this is just one of the ways they are making the extra food available to the public.

“We can only hold about 17 pallets worth of produce in our refrigerator space, and when we get our truckloads in, they come with 26 pallets,” Rosson said. “We’ve given out to Marietta Schools, Criner Hills Fire Department, the Veterans Center — any place we can find who can take a pallet or two — but sometimes we still have so much extra. Our goal is to get food into people’s mouths, so we’ve just set it out for anybody to come and grab.”

While cities such as Los Angeles and Austin are making national news with long lines of people relying on food banks because of the pandemic, Rosson said the Food and Resource Center has seen their clientele drop off a bit.

“We’ve got a lot more new guests coming in, but I’d say we’re probably seeing around 20% less people overall,” Rosson said. “I think the stimulus checks have a lot to do with that. The poverty mindset is day to day. If I’ve got money today I don’t need this, if I don’t have money today then I do.”

He encouraged anyone in need of food to come by the center and receive their services. All that’s needed is some form of ID and proof of address. Because of the pandemic, the center is pre-making the baskets of food and not allowing people inside the building, but Rosson stressed the center is not closed.

“If you need food, come on,” Rosson said. “We’re not running out of food, and if we need more, I can get more. So supply is not an issue. We’re not closing and have no plans of closing.”

The Food and Resource Center is open Monday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Alerts about when additional food is available in their parking lot can be found at www.facebook.com/feedingsouthcentralok.