Pumpkin pie was added for the first time to the Thanksgiving menu.
The sweet item was carefully placed in sacks that went to 750 designated people in Tulsa’s “Live Local, Give Local” program.
Volunteers helping with the Oklahoma Lawyers Fighting Hunger were reminded often to be certain the dessert was packaged after the turkey.
Hugh M. Robert, co-founder, said pineapple also was added to this year’s grocery list as were non perishable items that included gloves and diapers that went to designated recipients.
The items were distributed outside the Iron Gate Ministries location at East Sixth Street and South Cincinnati, by the approximately 60 volunteers who braved the cold, biting wind and greeted the recipients.
Space heaters were strategically placed in the area and while they took the chill out of the air, their warmth was minuscule when compared to the hearty interactions among everyone present.
The donated food involved Tulsa’s legal community and many others who contributed $42,000 for the Thanksgiving effort, said Robert, a partner with the Sherwood, McCormick and Robert Law Firm.
While everyone from the Sherwood McCormick Law Firm turned out to help, it was the Riggs Abney Law firm that provided 10 volunteers, the largest single group among the legal community.
“The Tulsa County Bar Foundation and Oklahoma Association for Justice have continued to be very significant supporters of the annual event,” Robert said. Arnie’s Bar provided the 500 hotdogs and 500 hamburgers, in addition to bottled water, soda and water to those who had come to the area for the distribution. Arnie’s also provided hot coffee to volunteers.
Oklahoma’s legal community stepped up to help in a big way, Roberts said. Through the combined effort of Lawyers Fighting Hunger and more than 100 law firms, businesses and individuals, 7,000 Oklahomans received a Thanksgiving meal.
Oklahoma City’s Thanksgiving event was named “Annual Day of Kindness.” Together with Norman, El Reno and Mustang, the $100,000 contribution marked for the five cities was broken for the first time, said Noble McIntyre, a co-founder with McIntyre Law in Oklahoma City.
Since the inception of the program, Lawyers Fighting Hunger has given almost a half million dollars that has helped more than 25,000 Oklahoma families statewide to have a Thanksgiving dinner, said David Bernstein, also a co-founder, with the Bernstein Law Firm of Norman.
Agencies also picked up the packages for some of Tulsa’s 750 recipients, which included disabled veterans groups, Women in Recovery, Lindsay House, Mental Health Association in Tulsa Housing, A Way Home for Tulsa, Emergency Infant Services, Youth Services and others.
“We were able to do the volume due in large part with partnerships with regional food banks, McIntyre said. “The food banks made it possible to secure the lowest possible prices combined with their purchasing power and negotiation skills.”
Fletcher Handley of the Handley Law Center in El Reno supervised the El Reno distribution.
Handley expressed his appreciation to Homeland who worked hard to ensure access to turkeys despite a nationwide turkey shortage due to the “bird flu.”
Michael Denton of the Denton Law Firm in Mustang supervised the distribution in that city.