To honor 30 years of serving Norman’s less fortunate, Food and Shelter Executive Director April Doshier said that earlier in the year, former board members and those involved since the United Way of Norman agency started gathered together.
“We reminisced about the past and shared our visions for the future and appreciated each other for all of the involvement they had,” Doshier said.
Serving about 220 meals a day, Doshier sees daily the impact that Food and Shelter has on Norman.
“I shudder to think what Norman would look like if Food and Shelter hadn’t started all of those years ago,” Doshier said. “When we talk to the people who come here every day, not just those who come because they are hungry but those who come because they are scared and confused and don’t know where else to turn, they tell us over and over again, ‘I’m really not sure what would happen if Food and Shelter wasn’t here.’
“There are mothers who have nowhere to go with their babies, and that little bit of time has been what it’s taken to grow into a stable, contributing member of our community. Being a part of our community and not being an isolated, invisible part of our community. Food and Shelter really takes people who would normally be invisible and have no voice and have no identity as a Norman resident and give them that community.”
As the agency honors its 30th year, Doshier said that the future also is something that the board takes very seriously.
“For so many years, Food and Shelter has been a respond to crisis agency. People who are at their worst time come to eat because they can’t plan for their future if they are worried about how they are going to eat,” Doshier said. “People who want to give their children a stable environment to live in have to have a place to start. Now we are looking at what are the long-term solutions.