Food for Kids Backpack Program
The Regional Food Bank started the Food for Kids Backpack Program in January 2003 in response to hearing a firsthand account of an Oklahoma City elementary student who fainted on a Monday morning, while waiting in the school lunch line, due to lack of food over the weekend. The program provides chronically hungry children, identified by school personnel, with backpacks filled with non-perishable, kid-friendly food to eat on weekends and school holidays.
The program was launched in 2003 with five Oklahoma City schools serving 180 children. The Backpack Program has grown significantly since 2003, serving 475 elementary schools in 53 counties across central and western Oklahoma, providing backpacks to more than 13,500 chronically hungry children each week during the 2011-2012 school year. The program continues to expand, with new schools being added each semester.
As a result of the Food for Kids Backpack Program, many teachers have reported:
- Better school attendance
- Improved school performance
- Better concentration in the classroom
- Increased self-esteem
- Reduced signs of hunger
The Regional Food Bank supplies and delivers pre-assembled food sacks and backpacks to participating schools at no cost to the school.
Pre-assembled food bags will contain approximately 10 different foods designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry kids on the weekend. These are kid-friendly foods that require no preparation. Kids can just “open and eat.”
(This photo does not necessarily represent the actual food items contained in the Food for Kids backpacks. Please see new list of food items below.)
Backpack items include:
- Peanut Butter (12 ounce jar) and a sleeve of crackers
- Beans and Franks (pop-top can)
- Beef stew (pop-top can)
- Cereal (1 ounce bowl)
- Fruit cups (peaches, applesauce, etc.)
- Vegetable cups (corn, green beans, etc.)
- Snack mixes
- Raisins (snack size boxes)
- Pudding cups
- Juice boxes (apple, orange, or other 100% juice)
- Milk, both white and chocolate (do not require refrigeration)
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Cereal bars or granola bars
A $200 donation can provide enough weekend food for one child for an entire school year. A gift of $5,000 will provide enough food for 25 hungry children at one school for an entire school year. Please donate now to the Regional Food Bank.
If you are interested in starting the Food for Kids Backpack Program at your school or have a question about the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-604-7103.
Last day schools may submit paperwork in order to begin program in Fall Semester: Friday, October 12th.
Schools that turn in forms after this date will not begin program until January 2013.
Last day schools may submit paperwork in order to begin program in Spring Semester: Thursday, February 28th.
Schools that turn in forms after this date will not begin program until School Year 2013-2014.
If you are interested in making a donation to the Backpack Program or would like to know more about fundraising for this program please contact Lisa Perry via email at email@example.com or at 405-604-7107.