Charity

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

Hundreds of Oklahoma nonprofits have signed a letter in support of a proposed change to federal tax deduction limits supported by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Oklahoma's Sen. James Lankford.

The proposal could be a component of a new coronavirus relief package currently being considered by Congress. It would allow for an above-the-line deduction of up to $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for those filing jointly.

For every six Oklahomans, one is hungry, according to the latest data. And as the U.S. Congress looks to potentially address a $1.5 trillion projected deficit, many domestic programs face an uncertain if not bleak future -- including food-assistance and hunger-relief programs -- both here in the Sooner State and nationwide. On this edition of ST, we are discussing these matters with Effie Craven, who is the State Advocacy and Public Policy Director for both of the Oklahoma Food Banks (i.e., the Regional Food Bank in OKC as well as the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Jeff Olivet, who is the President and CEO of the Boston-based Center for Social Innovation. Olivet is also a nationally recognized expert on homelessness, poverty, affordable housing, behavioral health, public health, and HIV -- and he'll be speaking about "Racism and Homelessness in America" at this year's National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, which happens here in Tulsa from today (the 28th) through Friday (the 30th) at the Cox Business Center downtown.

What if a bright young guy who had enough brains, training, and ambition to thrive on Wall Street suddenly decided --- in his mid-twenties, while watching an especially "passionate" pianist perform at a concert --- to give up on all the money and glory associated with his fledgling career...in order to start a small, independent nonprofit dedicated to building schools in the world's poorest regions? On this edition of ST, we meet just such a person.

What motivates a person --- or a business --- to make a philanthropic gift? And are such gifts more common or less common in this country than they were, say, a generation or two ago? What sorts of philanthropic gifts are most popular these days, and why? And how have things like the internet and the global economy changed philanthropic giving? Today on StudioTulsa, we're talking about philanthropy --- and about certain financial, economic, ethical, personal, and philosophical questions related to it --- with two local experts on this topic.

Did you know that more than 16% of Oklahomans live in poverty? Or that more than 23% of the children in our state live in poverty? Or that more than 80% of the students in the Tulsa Public Schools qualify for the free and reduced-cost lunch program? Or that 17% of the residents in Tulsa County are "food insecure" --- meaning, they're unsure of where they'll get their next meal? On this installment of StudioTulsa, we hear about a new anti-hunger campaign in our community that kicked off just last month: Live Local, Give Local.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based writer, consultant, and activist Ann Patton, who's just published a biography of the late (and legendary) Father Dan Allen, a Catholic priest turned social activist who worked incessantly (and memorably) to combat poverty and promote equality in Tulsa in the 1960s and beyond. Father Dan is probably best known for creating the Tulsa-area social service agency, Neighbor for Neighbor, which still exists today.