ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 19 percent of people in Ardmore live below the poverty line and struggle to provide for their families.
That's why the Chickasaw Nation teamed up with Oklahoma-based organization Feed the Children to make sure no child goes hungry.
Volunteers with the Chickasaw Nation handed out food, hygiene items and toys to 800 southern Oklahoma families Tuesday afternoon at Noble Stadium in Ardmore.
Ardmore resident Jessica Young is the mother of one of those 800 families and said it seems like food and other essentials get more expensive each year.
"Every day and every year, for the holidays, it's getting tougher and tougher," Young said. "We try to get what we can. I've never done anything like this before, but I'm super excited for it."
Young is a stay at home mom who cares for her seven year old son, niece and her husband's parents who struggle with health problems, who are hospitalized on a weekly basis.
The Chickasaw nation gave 800 vouchers to organizations and agencies in the area to give to families.
Families received a 25 pound box of food, personal care items as well as toys and books.
Melinda Newport with The Chickasaw nation said this is its third year for partnering with Feed the Children in an event. Previously. they've teamed up to help folks in Ada and Tishomingo.
"We try to move to different communities because we know it's important for us to build strong families and strong communities," Newport said.
Michael Murphy said when people are worried about food and the essentials in life, it's tough to function.
"Children should never have to go hungry in this country, or in any country," Murphy said. "It's an initiative where we want to create a world where no kid goes to bed hungry. That's what we're out here trying to do."