Study: 15% of Carter Co. residents struggle with hunger

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ARDMORE, OK -- A new study shows that 15% of Carter County is struggling with hunger in their household, but area non profits say there is help available.

The Salvation Army of Ardmore's commanding officer, Jeff Daniel, says he's seeing more people coming by for assistance this year compared to last, but he says they won't turn anyone away.

Daniel says, "We've been very fortunate so far that we have had a good supply. Of course most of everything we get, we get from donations or purchase from the Oklahoma Food Bank."

The HFV Community Center in Ardmore offers a low-cost summer camp for children while their parents are at work.

Executive Director, Kurt Lemley, says camp workers have seen an increased number of campers in need as well.

According to Lemley, "Our cooks, they all know kind of Fridays we've got a lot of kids that are going to load up on food and they'll come back for seconds and thirds and the reason being because there's not food in the refrigerator at home sometimes, so we try to make sure that we make those kids full when they leave here so they have the ability to go through the weekend."

State Representative, Pat Ownbey, says that it's important for those who can to help to do so, but one of his concerns is keeping the programs from being abused.

Rep. Ownbey says, "Frankly, a lot of the hunger or some of the hunger comes from the fact that the assistance is there but it's not being used wisely"

He adds that with the number of programs in Carter County, and in Oklahoma, there should be help available to anyone in need.

Rep. Ownbey also added, "I don't believe anyone in our state should be suffering from hunger and I think when you have that we've got to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."

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