The Share Center at Food and Shelter: Just the beginning

  • Date: 11/05/2023

The Share Center, located at 213 Reed Avenue in Norman, Oklahoma, has been open for about a month. It’s open Tuesdays and Wednesdays (2:30 t0 5:30 PM), Thursdays and Fridays (11 AM to 2 PM), and the Saturday of every month (12 to 2 PM). The Share Center provides free groceries for residents of Norman, Noble, Lexington and McClain County. Shoppers must show a photo ID and proof of residence (utility bill, paystub, lease agreement, etc.), and may shop once every 30 days.

Christy Blair, Share Center director took me on a tour of a spotless warehouse and shopping area.

She explained that the Center is stocked by meat, produce and canned goods provided by the U S Department of Agriculture, Food Bank of Oklahoma, with donations from Crest Foods and Natural Grocers of Norman.

As you enter the lobby, you are met by Stephanie, or another volunteer, and asked to provide the documentation mentioned previously. You are then given a number, and when it’s your turn, you meet Sara (or again, another volunteer) who gives you a shopping cart, and a shopping list. This process is followed to ensure the shopping area is not overcrowded— allowing shoppers to have a chance to consider their “purchases” without all of the traffic usually associated with grocery shopping. now you have the impression that the Share Center is just a grocery store — but there’s more. Turns out that the Dale Graham Veterans Center will soon establish a presence there, along with Social Security and some insurance advisors — to help with questions individuals might have about things like Medicare/Medicaid and options (this is open enrollment time for insurance supplements). The word “share” takes on an expanded meaning.

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