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Hunger Doesn't Take a Spring Break

Hungry Students Turn to Food Bank for Help

February 29, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY - Many children can’t wait for the spring break to begin, but for some spring break can mean going for weeks without a meal.  Many low-income families who rely on free or reduced price lunches struggle over school breaks to feed their families.  Thankfully, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is working to fight childhood hunger while school is out.

From March 12 through 23, any student 18 and under can receive a free lunch and snack weekdays at the following locations, which are partner agencies of the Regional Food Bank:

  • Douglass Recreation Center, located at 900 Carverdale in Oklahoma City, 405.424.4212
  • Downtown YMCA, located at 1 NW 4th St. in Oklahoma City, 405.297.7700
  • Macklanburg Recreation Center, located at 2234 NW 117 St. in Oklahoma City, 405.751.4977
  • Melrose Recreation Center, located at 7800 Melrose Ln. in Oklahoma City, 405.789.6758
  • Minnis Recreation Center, located at 12520 NE 36th St. Spencer, 405,769.2676
  • North Side YMCA, located at 10000 N Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City, 405.751.6363
  • Pilot Recreation Center, located at 1435 NW 2nd St. in Oklahoma City, 405.232.8309
  • Pitts Recreation Center, located at 1920 N. Kate in Oklahoma City, 405.427.1556
  • Schilling Recreation Center, located at 601 SE 25th St. in Oklahoma City, 405.631.2466
  • Sellers Recreation Center, located at 8301 S. Villa in Oklahoma City, 405.685.3311
  • Southern Oaks Recreation Center, located at 400 SW 66th St. in Oklahoma City, 405.631.5441
  • Urban League, located at 3900 N. Martin Luther King Ave in Oklahoma City, 405.424.5243

“Many children look forward to spring break,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Spending time with friends and family is fun, but  there may not be enough food to go around.  That’s why we are so thankful for this partnership with Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, Urban League of  Greater Oklahoma City, and Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City.”

The Regional Food Bank is also tackling hunger over spring break by providing elementary school children on the Food for Kids Backpack Program with extra sacks of food and serving children through partner agencies.  Each week, the Regional Food Bank serves more than 40,000 children through its partner agencies and through its Food for Kids childhood hunger initiatives.  

Through the Backpack Program, elementary school students receive healthy, kid-friendly meals over the weekends throughout the school year.  Before receiving help from the program, many of these children had very little or nothing to eat between school lunch on Friday and school breakfast on Monday.  More than 11,000 students in 470 schools in 52 central and western counties benefit from this program.

Middle and high schools students that benefit from the School Pantry program will receive extra donations as well.  The School Pantry program provides food pantries in middle and high schools in central and Western Oklahoma.  Currently, 31 school pantries provide food for up to 650 students each month.

As part of the School’s Out Program, 17 additional elementary, middle and high schools will receive sacks of non-perishable food for chronically hungry students.  The schools will identify the students in need of the supplemental food assistance and for the distribution of the food.

Statewide, one in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger and doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. 

The Regional Food Bank is dedicated to “Fighting Hunger…Feeding Hope.”  Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Food Bank distributed 46.2 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 825 charitable feeding programs and elementary schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Each week, the organization provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 hungry Oklahomans.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank, call 405.972.1111 or visit regionalfoodbank.org.  Every $200 donated will feed  a child in Food for Kids for an entire school year.

Photo: Over Spring Break, the Regional Food Bank is working to provide meals to children through its partner agencies and Food for Kids programs.

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 825 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In fiscal year 2011, the Food Bank distributed 46.2 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 430 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry. Visit regionalfoodbank.org or scan the QR code below to learn more.

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