COL Supports Buy 1, Give 2 Initiative

COL BOGT

27 December 2019

The City of Lawton Healthy Food Retail Task Force – established by Lawton City Council in July 2019 – has kicked off its first initiative this month with the “Buy 2, Give 1” project, which aims to increase the access and consumption of fruits and vegetables in the community.

Debra Johnson, task force member and Wellness Coordinator at the Comanche County Health Department, said piloting these types of programs contribute to making Lawton Fort Sill a healthier place to live, work, stay and play. Currently, she said, Oklahoma is ranked 47th in the country in “health outcomes,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Using produce requires planning ahead to avoid spoilage and waste,” Johnson said. “Additionally, when shopping on a limited budget a person is not likely to purchase items they are not familiar with due to the possibility of wasting money. We hope ‘Buy 2, Give 1’ will allow everyone a change to increase their produce consumption and find new favorites.”

The program relies upon the generosity of the Lawton community. Citizens are encouraged by the task force to purchase an “extra (produce) item or two” to donate to those with limited access while grocery shopping. Pre-bagged and pre-cut produce is discouraged at this time, however, due to the lack of refrigeration at some sites. Donations may be dropped off or picked up at the following locations:

 

  • HC King Center, 1705 NW 20th
  • Patterson Center, 4 NE Arlington
  • Owens Center, 1405 SW 11th
  • Comanche County Health Department, 1010 SW Sheridan Road
  • C. Carter Crane Shelter, 1203 SW Texas Avenue
  • Salvation Army, 1306 SW E
  • Lawton Food Bank, 1819 SW Sheridan Road
  • Lawton Community Health Center, 5404 SW Lee (DROP OFF ONLY)

 

Those picking up items should check in with their preferred/closest site for any applicable procedures.

To reduce waste or spoilage, produce needing to be consumed quickly will be donated to partnering organizations that manage feeding programs, such as: Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry, The Salvation Army, Family Promise and First Christian Church.

“It was exciting to have such quick and positive feedback on this initiative,” Johnson said. “It is a simple idea as long as community support is present. One resource Lawton has no lack of is passionate advocates and volunteers to give back and support those in the community.”

Moving forward, the taskforce will continue to monitor the initiative and highlight healthy food challenges faced in our community with patrons, growers and retailers. Aside from produce donations, Johnson said, the task force is still in need of additional produce crates for storage. Organizations or businesses that wish to participate as a Drop Off/Pick Up location may call 580.585.6677.

The task force aims to share collection and traction data in January, following the holidays.

Learn more at lawtonok.gov/programs/healthy-food-retail-task-force.

Department/Division