How many football stadiums would it take…

Last week, the US Department of Agriculture released its annual report on household food security. They found that for the 3-year period from 2007-09, an average of 15.2 percent of Oklahoma households experienced food insecurity, which means that they “had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.” This was the 5th highest rate in the nation, up from 14.6 percent for the period from 2004-06 and 13.1 percent from 1996-08. Nationally, food insecurity from 2007-09 averaged 13.5 percent.

Given Oklahoma’s total population of 3.7 million, and assuming that households experiencing food insecurity are the same size as the average of all households, this means that some 560,000 Oklahomans live in households that struggle with access to adequate food.  To get a clearer sense of how many people this is, imagine that on a Saturday afternoon this fall, the population in households that experience food insecurity in Oklahoma were all invited down to Norman and Stillwater to attend the football games.

Give or take a few thousand people, the food insecure could completely fill OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (capacity: 82,122) AND OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium (capacity: 60,218) four times over.

To find out ways to help fight hunger and food insecurity in Oklahoma, contact the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma or the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

May everyone have a joyful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.


Former Executive Director David Blatt joined OK Policy in 2008 and served as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2019. He previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.

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