History Highlights

 

  • 1978- Men’s Bible Study group began making sandwiches; informal beginning of Iron Gate.
  • 1984 – Iron Gate Trust established with Trinity parishioners and others meeting weekly to prepare 400 sandwiches. The Tulsa Club kitchen contributes a half-bushel of bread.
  • 1986 – Trinity begins a Pledge-a-Veg campaign to collect donated food.  Holland Hall and the Boy Scouts begin food drives. Iron Gate expands to include weekday hot meals and groceries.
  • 1987- Began serving meals 365 days a year.
  • 1992 – The Zarrow Foundation awards a $50,000 grant to renovate a room in Trinity’s basement as a street feeding area.
  • 1997 – The Iron Gate Trust is established as a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization. Corporate and foundation contributions include: Williams Companies, Amoco, Mapco, Sisk Charitable Trust, Bowman Family Charitable Fund and Kaiser Foundation.
  • 2001 – Trinity parishioners raise $18,000 to provide janitorial service for Iron Gate, so toilet facilities can be provided.  The Zarrow Foundation donates $36,000 for expansion of the street feeding area and to help underwrite the salary of a professional director.
  • 2002 – Iron Gate hires a director, an additional feeding room is opened, and updates are made to the main feeding room including additional counters, new flooring, a bigger sink, and newly painted walls.  All of these things were made possible by the grant from the Zarrow foundation.
  • 2007 – Iron Gate raises $300,000 for a new space with 3,305 square feet.  The state of the art location has all new equipment including a hand washing station, men’s and women’s toilets, a special heating/ac system to prevent the spread of TB/airborne diseases, a new entrance with outdoor eating space, new pantry and a new serving kitchen.
  • 2009 – Iron Gate accepts full responsibility for managing the kitchen at Trinity and for its expenses of bookkeeping and financial services. To meet the growing need for services, Iron Gate adds Saturdays to grocery assistance and opens its Kid’s Cupboard to provide healthy snack packs for children.  
  • 2010- Iron Gate begins to deepen its mission of feeding the hungry through work with Youth Services of Tulsa, Day Spring Villa, and other agencies by making sure that those who are hungry, no matter their income or age, receive much needed groceries and a hot meal. Iron Gate begins to serve hot meals on weekends.
  • 2011- Iron Gate working with Lawyers against Hunger began the annual thanksgiving box give-away reaching over 500 families. Iron Gate is no longer a supporting organization under the church, but rather officially becomes a stand- alone 501 c-3 organization. 
  • 2012- Iron Gate continues fulfilling its mission with the help of All Souls Unitarian Church and Tulsa Public Schools by providing a family meal night on Wednesdays at Jackson Elementary School once a month. Iron Gate surpasses $1 million in contributions.  
  • 2013 -  In honor of Iron Gate's 35th anniversary, we organized the First Annual Founders' Dinner honoring the three founders Gene Buzzard, Keenan Barnard and Rev. Canon Powers. The grocery pantry moved to guest choice and incorporated fresh produce from the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.  Kids Helping Kids was developed as a way for the youth in the Tulsa community to help the hungry and homeless kids of Iron Gate.

 

Growth from 2006-2012

  • 304% increase in meals served through the soup kitchen
  • 338% increase in individuals served through the soup kitchen
  • 769% increase in households served through grocery assistance
  • 782% increase in individuals served through grocery assistance
  • 50% increase in the number of kids packs given out
  • 396% increase in total persons served