“Our first year, we handed out about four food baskets,” says Betty Jackson from the Choctaw Nation Outreach Services Program, “and it has evolved to where it is today. We began this program about eight years ago after hearing tribal members say the meal they ate at the Choctaw Nation Thanksgiving dinners would be the only one they had for the holiday.”
To receive a voucher for the food, tribal members completed an application that included income verification. The vouchers were made available for pick-up at their local Choctaw Nation Community Center and could be redeemed at certain local grocery stores. Outreach Services employees went shopping for and made deliveries to those who were homebound and unable to pick up their food.
Those receiving a Thanksgiving voucher are automatically qualified for the Christmas vouchers that will be distributed in early December. It’s not too late to apply for a Christmas voucher, however. The deadline to apply is Dec. 2 and applications can be picked up at the Choctaw Nation complex in Durant or at any Choctaw Nation Community Center.