“I know that people are struggling in many different ways right now,” she said. “Especially during these days of the pandemic, our immune systems are our first line of defense for everything. We need to take ownership of our help and the way that we do that is to boost our immune system.”
Northeast Oklahoma City has been described as a food desert, an area lacking nearby access to healthy foods. Ekuban said she is hoping the effort to stock residents’ pantries with healthy foods will be helpful during the current crisis.
Armed with Ekuban’s $5,000 seed money, Scobey began shopping for food for about 100 families. With the help of other individuals, businesses and groups, the preacher said the food distribution effort will now be able to provide groceries for an estimated 225 families on Saturday.
He said contributors and donors to the effort include Crest Foods, the Lynn Institute’s nonprofit Healthy Community Collaborative-NE OKC, Statia Rector, Hank Binkowski of Uptown Grocery/Buy4Less, Jimmie Boldien of Rolfe Funeral Home, Toby Brown and Oklahoma City Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice’s Northeast Oklahoma City Health Task Force.
Nice said the effort is special to her because she grew up attending Greater Zion Baptist, the food distribution site. She said the NE Healthy Task Force helped ensure that fresh produce would be included in the giveaway bags.
“I’m happy that we have organizations such as our churches that are doing this. We’re finding that with people unable to work, they have a need,” she said.
Jeaneen Pointer, chief strategy officer for the Lynn Institute, said the institute’s Healthy community Collaborative-NE OKC is part of Nice’s Northeast Oklahoma City Health Task Force. She said the collaborative was excited about joining in the food giveaway.
Like Ekuban, she said it is critical that people boost their immune systems and she’s hoping an influx of healthy food will help residents who take part in the coming distribution. She said the collaborative is helping to supplement the fruits and vegetables that will be given away, and residents will be given fliers with information about the health benefits of the foods they receive and other helpful data.