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A Conversation with Chris Bernard, the Executive Director of Hunger Free Oklahoma

Aired on Monday, September 18th.

On this broadcast of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Chris Bernard, the executive director of Hunger Free Oklahoma. This nonprofit, per its website, "works to bring a unified, statewide voice to the issue and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable, nutritious food. Hunger Free Oklahoma holds the core belief that hunger is solvable, unnecessary, and unjust, and it impacts everyone living in Oklahoma. Hunger Free Oklahoma’s objective is to serve as a resource to existing efforts, facilitating collaboration, and providing technical assistance, data, and planning to expand nutrition programs and enrich efforts already in place.... It will be a platform for hosting or coordinating local and national research efforts addressing hunger and the intersection of hunger and health, as well as hunger and educational outcomes. Hunger Free Oklahoma will ensure that research results are applied in action, and it will advance public-private partnerships to accomplish much of this work in an efficient and impactful way." Bernard brings us up to date on how his organization has been working to meet these goals and accomplish these aims since its inception just over a year ago (in the fall of 2016). Moreover, as Bernard points out -- and as was indicated in a piece that appeared recently in The Tulsa World (headline: "Tulsan to testify to Congress how anyone might need food stamps") -- being hungry does not just apply to the very poor in our state, and likewise getting food assistance from the government is not only the province of those living below the poverty line.

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