We Did It! Correction: YOU Did It!
$20,000 Challenge Grant A Success
In December we announced a challenge. An Iron Gate board member who prefers anonymity challenged us to raise $10,000 by year's end from individual donors. If so, that amount would be matched by $10,000 from the donor.
We did it. YOU did it. Thanks to all who made a year-end contribution. Your donations were matched and brought Iron Gate $20,000 to buy food.
And boy did we need it. The number of people coming to Iron Gate to eat has gone through the roof. We are not alone in this phenomenon.
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, where we get most of our food free or deeply discounted, reports that in 2011 the number of Oklahomas seeking food assistance from emergency pantries increased 50%. The need was even more acute in rural Oklahoma where agencies saw an increase of as much as 60 percent.
At Iron Gate, we served 220,000 people through the soup kitchen last year. This is up from 146,000 in 2008, the year the recession hit. We gave emergency grocery bags to 25,600 people last year, compared to 10,400 in 2008.
As 2012 begins, we're seeing the same spike in numbers. Last week we served an average of 824 plates from the soup kitchen daily. We estimate that one-seventh of the guests go through the serving line twice.
Thank you for helping feed the homeless and hungry of Tulsa.
On The Other Hand...
Remember our chance to win a $10,000 grant in the Cox Connects
Foundation Community Challenge? Iron Gate was a finalist. The winner was determined by online voting. We lost. The winner was Life Senior Services. Where did we finish? "Somewhere in the middle of the pack," we learned. The winner was Life Senior Services. What this tells us is that we need many more online friends--on Facebook and on our eNews mailing list. Will you help?