Hunger by the Numbers: How many football stadiums would it take…

In September, the US Department of Agriculture released its annual report on household food security. For the 3-year period from 2008-10, an average of one in six Oklahoma households, 16.4 percent, experienced food insecurity. This means that “at times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for foods.” This was the 6th highest rate in the nation, up from 14.6 percent for the period from 2004-06. Nationally, 14.2 percent of households were food insecure in 2o10.

Given Oklahoma’s population of 3.75 million, and assuming that households experiencing food insecurity are the same size as the average of all households, some 607,000 Oklahomans live in households that struggle with access to adequate food.  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.


The food insecure could fill OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (capacity: 82,122) AND OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium (capacity: 60,218)  four times over… with enough people left over to fill University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium (capacity: 30,000).

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.

Note: This is an updated version of a blog post we first ran in November 2010.


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.

2 thoughts on “Hunger by the Numbers: How many football stadiums would it take…

  1. I just saw on Tulsa news that 600 people go hungry in Tulsa everyday. I was just today making a comment to my wife on a situation that we drive by everyday going to Tulsa and is going on right here within five miles of my house. There is a rancher that has around 25,000 acres of land five miles from my home and his ranch is home to around 2500 wild horses that has been trucked here from states that won’t keep them any longer and from a reliable source I’ve heard that he receives $1.75 a head per day for keeping these horses. I’ve got a nephew who has worked for this rancher and says that all he has to do is to keep them as healthy as possible and thats about it. Now you can do the math 2500 wild horses at $1.75 a day per head comes to $4,375.00 a day, going into the pocket of already one of the richest men in this state, this rancher is a brother in law to the late Sam Walton. This has been going on now for years. Now my concern is, is why in the hell the tax payer is having to keep paying one man $1,596,875.00 a year to keep these grass burners. Now, I’m in no way an animal hater, but when you can drive ten miles on further to the west from these horses and find 600 people going hungry every day, makes me wonder who is using common sense here. Just a thought that I wanted to share with friends. Whats your input on this.

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