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Buy One Backpack and Help Two Kids

BWAP® (Backpacks with a Purpose) Partners with Regional Food Bank

July 13, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is partnering with BWAP® (Backpacks With A Purpose) to fight childhood hunger in Oklahoma. For every BWAP backpack purchased, two backpacks will be donated to the Regional Food Bank.  The backpacks will be used in the nonprofit’s Food for Kids Backpack Program.  Additionally, for every “Like” BWAP receives on Facebook, a dollar will be donated to the Regional Food Bank, up to $1,500.

“We are very thankful for this partnership, which will allow us to further grow our Backpack Program to feed chronically hungry elementary school children in our state,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Last year, more than 13,500 children in 475 schools benefited from the program, yet there are still children in need of our help.  No child should ever have to worry about when or if they will have food to eat.”

The Regional Food Bank launched the Backpack Program in 2003 after learning about an elementary student who fainted while waiting in the school lunch line on a Monday morning because he had very little food to eat over the weekend. Through this program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food on Friday to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.  According to a recent survey conducted by the Regional Food Bank, 89 percent of Backpack Program coordinators indicated the program was “very effective” at meeting the needs of chronically hungry elementary students.

“BWAP is more than a bag—it’s a message,” said Amy Yousey, marketing director at BWAP.  “We want people who carry our backpacks to have purpose as well. Every person has the capability to make a significant change in this world.  Now, we are increasing our impact by inviting others to join with us in giving back through this initiative.”

The first BWAP backpack was made in 2002 as a direct response to the needs of the Urban Mission, a partner agency of the Regional Food Bank. The nonprofit needed high-quality, affordable backpacks with a classic design to distribute through their back-to-school program. Since then, through partnerships with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, more than 750,000 BWAP backpacks have been distributed to students who need them most.

In Fiscal year 2012, the Regional Food Bank distributed 42.2 million pounds of food and product through a network of nearly 1,000 partner agencies and schools throughout 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. The Food Bank provides enough food to feed more than 90,000 people each week – nearly half of which are children.

To make a donation to the Regional Food Bank visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.972.1111.  To purchase a backpack visit b-wap.com.

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 446 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.


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