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Summer Feeding Program Filled Empty Bellies

Fed Hungry Oklahoma Children

August 8, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY - This summer, thousands of Oklahoma children were at risk of going hungry without access to their schools’ free or reduced-price meals. Most of these kids came from families who already struggled to make ends meet. Fortunately, children 18 and under received a nutritious breakfast and/or lunch through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Summer Feeding program.  

The Regional Food Bank provided free summer meals at more than 30 sites around the metro. This summer, the program provided more than 114,000 meals to hungry children.  Last summer, the Regional Food Bank provided more than 75,000 meals to children through the Summer Feeding program.

“One in five children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank.  “No child should have to worry where their next meal will come from.  This program ensured that children received adequate nutrition during the summer months when school meals were not available.”

According to a survey of the Summer Feeding program, 90 percent of parents indicated they needed Summer Feeding for their children.

“One grandmother was raising her grandchildren and was looking for somewhere to eat,” said Brinda Embery, Summer Feeding site coordinator at MLK Elementary School.  “When she found out about Summer Feeding, she started crying with relief.  She didn’t know how she was going to feed the children on her income.”

The Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids Backpack Program helps fight childhood hunger during the school year by providing a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly food to children over weekends and school holidays.  Last school year, the program served more than 11,500 chronically hungry children in 374 schools in 49 central and western counties.  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.

Through September 30th, thanks to the generosity of Top of the World, Trusted Choice-Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, Harris Foundation-OKC, and one anonymous donor, all tax-deductible donations made to the Food for Kids Backpack Program will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank’s Backpack Program, or for more information about the program, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call Lisa Perry at 405.604.7107, text the word “CAN” to 27722 (data and message rates may apply) or visit regionalfoodbank.org.  Connect online with the Regional Food Bank at twitter.com/rfbo or facebook.com/regionalfoodbank.

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 more than 750 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In the last fiscal year, the Regional 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 Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 400 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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