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Hunger Hits Home This Holiday Season

Food Bank Helps Children Over School Break

November 20, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – Thanks to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Program, students who benefit from the Backpack and School Pantry Programs will receive extra food to sustain them over the long Thanksgiving weekend or school break.

“One in four children in Oklahoma will struggle with hunger today,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “This should not be happening in our state, but it is.  A child should never have to worry about whether they will have anything to eat tomorrow.”

Through the Backpack Program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food on Friday to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.  Last school year, more than 13,500 students in 475 schools participated in the Backpack Program.  The Regional Food Bank expects 14,500 students could benefit from the program this year.

“We have several children at our school whose families are suffering from different hardships and providing basic needs seems to be a struggle at this time,” said a Backpack Program coordinator recently.

The School Pantry Program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over the weekends.  The School Pantry Program ended last school year serving 42 middle and high schools in 13 counties and the Regional Food Bank expects that number to more than double this year.

Numerous teachers and administrators have reported that students’ school performance, attendance, and self-esteem have improved as a result of participating in both programs. 

The cost to provide one child with supplemental food through the Backpack Program or the School Pantry Program for an entire school year is only $200.   

Be a part of the solution.  Through January 15th, Chesapeake will match all donations made to the Regional Food Bank - up to $1 million! Gifts to the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids programs can now help twice as many children struggling with hunger. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank, call 405.604.7111 or visit regionalfoodbank.org. 

Download photos and videos of the students who benefit from Food for Kids.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that acts as a link through which the food industry and community may donate food and other goods. The products are then distributed to nearly 1,000 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In fiscal year 2012, the Food Bank distributed 42.2 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 460 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.

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