Cherokee Nation breaks ground on new food distribution center

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 11/08/2012 9:09 am Published: 11/07/2012 5:10 pm

For some in our area, it’s a struggle to put food on the table every night.

On Wednesday, the Cherokee Nation broke ground on a new food distribution center. Not only will it save people time and gas money, but it’s also a big boost to their moral.

In the past, people living in the Collinsville area had to get their groceries out of the back of a truck, but with this recent groundbreaking, grocery shopping will be a whole new experience.

Tonya Vaughn knows what it’s like to grocery shop out of the back of a truck instead of inside a grocery store.

"They just give you boxes of food and you don't really choose what you want. We went in a building and filled out a paper, and they sent us to a truck on the left or right and you get your food and then you leave,” says Vaughn.

Until now, it’s something that many Cherokee Nation citizens living in the area had to deal with.

“There are several people that had to get it out of the truck that are older or elderly, and they had trouble getting the boxes out of the truck and putting them in their vehicles,” says Vaughn.

The tribe broke ground on its newest food distribution center in Collinsville on Wednesday. Each center provides free, healthy grocery items to those who meet certain income guidelines.

"The folks in this area were having to drive to Nowata, so putting one here closer is going to save those people a lot of gas money,” says Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

The center will offer fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a variety of good meat. It is expected to double the number of families per month being served in the area.

"In the wintertime it will be great because we won't have to worry about the snow and the ice, and we can come right here in town and get what we need,” says Vaughn.

The $600,000 facility is expected to open by springtime. This year alone, more than 100,000 Cherokee citizens visited northeast Oklahoma food distribution centers.

If you would like to apply for the “Donated Foods” program, you must have at least one Cherokee citizen in your household, live within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdictional area and meet income guidelines.

If you would like to apply – you can call 918-207-3920.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

scarlet - 11/8/2012 8:40 AM
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all the people i know do thier shopping al the local grocery stores. what is holding these good people back from the same?? no one hands out free food to me.. I just have to work for it.
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