Thundering Up at the Food Bank

Massive warehouse palettes held thousands of ears of frozen corn on the first floor of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Within just a few hours, thanks to the help of children from Positive Tomorrows and Thunder players, coaches and staff, nearly 13,000 ears of corn were packaged and ready to be shipped, giving the food bank a chance to send out enough to be a part of nearly 6,700 meals.

Every member of the Thunder organization that walked through the doors of the Food Bank was ready to get to work to help a worthy cause, but perhaps most impressive was the attitudes of the children from Positive Tomorrows. As elementary school kids whose families are either homeless or very needy, children like Roshawna, a Positive Tomorrow’s fifth grader, were thrilled to be able to help out, in addition to meeting Thunder players and coaches.

“I really like helping people so I came here with my school to get the corn ready to get shipped off and to have fun,” Roshawna said. “It’s really cool. This is my first time ever doing this, so I was really shocked. I didn’t think they were going to be here. I think I almost fainted when I saw the first ones. It’s pretty crazy.”

“It was a fun day with the kids and helping a good cause,” guard Thabo Sefolosha said. “It’s always nice to come out and do good in the community. (The Food Bank) has been doing a great job for years now. To be able to be part of it and come out and support and help, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma serves 53 different counties throughout central and western Oklahoma, distributing food to other non-profits which they then distribute in their own ways by either cooking on site or by creating care packages for families. On Thursday alone, the Thunder packaged 7,922 pounds worth of corn, which according to Kristi Youngblood at the Food Bank, will go an extremely long way in helping local Oklahomans get much-needed meals and on the right track.

“With every member we send out with food that we package, we have to remember that it is a real person who is getting a real meal,” Youngblood explained. “All throughout our facility we have stories of people who have written in, telling us what it means to them to help get through. A lot of times they’re having a hard time paying their bills or eating. We’re happy that we can help them get back on track and just help be part of the solution for somebody’s life.”

Thunder players have unique perspectives from their own personal stories and backgrounds, but they always find ways to connect with children from all walks of life at events like Thursday’s. Rookie center Steven Adams recalled a conversation he had with one of the girls from Positive Tomorrows, who was making sure that everyone was focused on the task at hand and working hard at all times. For Adams and the rest of the Thunder organization, Thursday’s day of giving back at the Food Bank was an incredible opportunity to do some good in the community for those whose stories may not be told and who could use someone looking out for them.

“This was cool because we were working together,” Adams explained. “The kids have good heads on them... It goes a long way, all of this. It’s just amazing. The Thunder wants to help out and all of us players want to help out as well. Those people sometimes go unheard. You don’t know about them sometimes. In bringing awareness to them, it brings a whole new feeling really.”