Fall Outreach 2011Oral Roberts University students collect over 8,000 cans for Fall Outreach 2011

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

More than 600 Oral Roberts University students went out in the neighborhoods in Tulsa on Oct. 31 and collected over 8,000 cans of food that was donated to local food banks that are meeting hunger needs in Oklahoma during the holiday season.

"Because of the combined efforts of the ORU community, thousands of families will be fed through the organizations we were able to supply canned goods to," said Bobby Parks, director of ORU Missions and Outreach. "We are thankful for the investment of time and so much effort!"

The majority of the cans (5,655 pounds) were donated to Tulsa charity John 3:16 along with monetary donations to buy turkeys for their Thanksgiving week outreach. John 3:16 feeds over 5,000 Tulsans during Thanksgiving week by giving away 13-pound turkeys with a food basket. They also serve a large hot dinner at their downtown location on Thanksgiving evening and invite the public (a large majority of the Tulsa homeless population attends this dinner). John 3:16 said that their food appointment requests are up 40 percent this year mostly because of the current state of the economy.

Canned food was also donated to three other outside food banks: Mid-Del Food Bank, Agape Love Ministries, and South Tulsa Community House. The cans that ORU students brought to Fall Outreach to receive a T-shirt were donated to the food pantry on campus for international commuter students who are struggling to stay fed without the ability to work off-campus due to student visas.

In addition to meeting immediate hunger needs in Oklahoma, ORU students raised $1,300 to buy a cow, two goats, chickens, vegetable seeds, and more to provide long-term solutions to hunger in Third World communities worldwide through World Vision International.