Hundreds of food boxes roll into Okfuskee County
By Ken Childers
Last Thursday morning, a semi-truck laden with over 1,100 boxes of food rumbled through the narrow streets of Clearview, eventually coming to a stop in front of the town’s community center.
A small army of volunteers helped unload the truck and stack “COVID-19 Nutrition Benefit” boxes on trailers to distribute to other rural communities in eastern Oklahoma, including Boley and IXL. Boxes were first given away to Clearview residents on a first come, first served basis.
The food distribution program is the result of a collaborative effort between World Vision International, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, and Ebeneezer Baptist Church of Oklahoma City.
After staging distribution programs at Ebeneezer Baptist, Senior Pastor Derrick Scobey said his wife, Angela, had a vision of distributing food to areas beyond Oklahoma City.
“Angela Bush Scobey had the idea to include communities like Clearview, where she grew up, as well as Boley, IXL, Brooksville, Tatums, Langston, Lima and several others,” Scobey said. “Even though these are historically black townships, people of different races live there, so we’re ministering to everyone we can, regardless of skin color. We’re serving the under-served,” Scobey said.
Food box distribution in Okfuskee County is headed up by Shirley Nero, Clearview treasurer and town secretary/clerk. “I think having the food boxes come to Clearview and being distributed to historically all-Black towns is a blessing to those in need,” Nero said. “These are rural, economically depressed areas that are not usually served in this way.”
According to Scobey, World Vision rerouted the semi directly to Clearview at his request and last Thursday’s distribution included 1,115 boxes containing produce and other food items. “The bill of laden was $36,728, and that’s just the wholesale price,” Scobey said.
Distribution to Clearview is scheduled to take place every other Thursday until the end of August, but Scobey believes it will keep going. “I don’t think it’s going to end. World Vision has been paying attention to what we’re doing. They’ve been watching and praying alongside us,” he said.
World Vision is a non-profit organization that, according to its website, partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Andrew Morley, President and CEO of the organization, said the group is striving for a world free of the worst forms of poverty by 2030 as included in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
For more information, to volunteer or to donate for truck rental/equipment expenses, call Scobey at (405) 427-9953.