Team is Community

I love the Thunder! My husband and I moved to Oklahoma City one year before the Thunder came to Oklahoma City and while I had grown up a Dallas Mavericks fan my allegiance quickly changed after my first Thunder game.  During the playoffs, I put a Thunder flag on my car and stayed up late into the  night to cheer on my team.  The playoff games are so unique, because businesses sponsor shirts for all of the fans at the game to wear. My favorite playoff shirt this season had the phrase “Team is Community.”  It summed up what I feel like this team has done for our great state.

When I worked on the Food Bank’s school pantry program, I would visit schools and discuss the program with staff. In every school, I noticed a Thunder flag, Thunder foam finger or Thunder poster in the office or principal’s office. The presence of that logo made me feel at home and connected to the school.

Honestly, I have gotten that same “team is community” feel through my work at the Food Bank. I feel a special connection with the 53 counties that we serve. I have met partner agencies, donors, school officials in Lawton, Ada, Weatherford, Enid, Ponca City, Red Rock, Guthrie and more. Every person is passionate about the role they play in fighting hunger in their community. In my first visit to Paoli to discuss the school pantry program, I intended to meet with school officials and to tour the location of the school pantry. The pantry worked in partnership with the local Methodist church, so SIX community volunteers also showed up to meet with me! Several of them took time off of work so they could learn about the pantry program but also explain to me the impact that the food would have on their community. I was blown away by their desire to help hungry kids.

Last week, I walked into a small business and smiled when I saw a big Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers  food drive poster on the wall.  I thanked them for serving as a collection site. The business owner quickly pointed out that she hadn’t collected very much. This didn’t matter to me. She had brought awareness to one of our biggest community food drives and she had taken the time to become an ally and advocate of the food bank and the hungry people that we serve.

The Food Bank is a big team that relies on so many different partners. I challenge each of you to become a part of our team through volunteering, donating or advocating. Now, all I need is a big foam Food Bank finger to wave around!

Ellen Pogemiller
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Special Projects Coordinator

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