The Holidays are over and so is our holiday food drive at Country Mart.

On Dec. 14, we started our first CANS Food Festival where those that shopped at Country Mart could donate canned goods to go to the Lawton Food Bank.

The Lawton Food Bank was established in 1985 with the words “Helping Promote Unity in our Community,” which is painted on the wall facing their parking lot. These words are true for the Food Bank solely lives on donations both item and monetary.

We received a grand total of 4,062 goods and all of that food went straight to the Lawton Food Bank to feed the hungry families they serve.

On Nov. 5, Jeri Mosiman, Executive Director of the Lawton Food Bank posted a picture on their Facebook page showing their empty warehouse that would normally be filled with food pallets to give to families so they have meals during the holiday season.

"We have recovered and we were able to have enough food to take care of our need,” Mosiman said. “Do we have as much food as we had last year at this time, no, but we were able to take care of everyone that needed food.”

Mosiman explained that on average the Food Bank serves 900 families a month. She also stated that starting out with an empty warehouse in November they also could not give as much food as they wanted despite the response from the community.

With the new cutbacks the Food Bank had to make Mosiman believes that the food they give out to the families will last for about a week.

To qualify for aid from the food bank, recipients must meet certain income requirements, and must be actively employed or provide proof of job searches. They must also provide identification and income information for all household members. Those who meet the requirements are able to receive assistance from the Food Bank once every six weeks, provided they continue to meet the requirements.

James Meeks, Townsquare Media
James Meeks, Townsquare Media

The First major food drive of the year, The Letter Carrier’s Food Drive, will not start until May during Mother’s Day weekend. The Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is ran by the National Association of Letter Carriers, a national labor union of letter carriers employed by the United States Postal Service.

“What the letter carriers do is they put a plastic bag on everyone’s mailbox and ask the families to fill the bag up with food,” Mosiman said. “A few days later the letter carriers will pick it up and we get thousands of pounds of food.”

Mosiman explained that the Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is easy for the donors since all they have to do is leave the bag out for the carriers to collect. She also states that she is grateful to the letter carriers for doing the extra work to make sure that the families are served.

Mosiman also states that just because the holidays are over does not mean people have to wait until the next food drive to donate to the food bank again. Those wanting to make a donation to the Food Bank directly can go to their warehouse located at 1405 SW 20th.

Their operating hours are Mon, Wed and Fri from 8 a.m., to 2 p.m., as well Tue and Thur. from 12 p.m., to 6 p.m.  Mosiman also states that if people cannot come make the donations to the Food Bank during their operating hours they are to call them at 580.353.7994 and ask for her to work out a time convenient for them.

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