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Regional Food Bank Helps Hennessey Schools Fight Hunger

Middle and High Schools Benefit from School Pantry Program

September 27, 2012

HENNESSEY, OKLA. – One in four children in Oklahoma will struggle with hunger today.  However, thanks to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids School Pantry Program, Hennessey students will receive hope, in the form of food, this school year.

The Regional Food Bank started the Food for Kids School Pantry Program in 2010 at Putnam City West High School and Western Heights Middle School.  This program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students, who are identified by school personnel, 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 expects that number to more than double, pending funding.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, the program served more than 1,500 students and distributed 102,134 pounds of food to chronically hungry students. In Kingfisher County, two schools participated in the program: Kingfisher Middle and Kingfisher High Schools. 

According to a recent survey of School Pantry coordinators:

  • 97 percent of coordinators said that the School Pantry Program was “very effective” or “somewhat effective” at meeting the needs of chronically hungry middle and high school students.
  • 96 percent observed fewer complaints about hunger by students who participated in the program.
  • 93 percent observed students showing less hunger when they arrived at school on Monday mornings.

“One boy told us last week that he was going to drop out of school to get a job in order to help feed his family,” shared a School Pantry Coordinator recently. “When he heard about the food pantry in October, he decided to stay in school. He graduated in May.” 

The Regional Food Bank is dedicated to its mission of “Fighting Hunger…Feeding Hope.”  The nonprofit plans on expanding its Food for Kids Programs to reach every chronically hungry child in central and western Oklahoma.  

“Hunger must end so learning can begin,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “A $200 gift will support a student in the School Pantry program for an entire school year.  Make a donation to Food for Kids today and make a difference in your community.”

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. In Fiscal Year 2012, the nonprofit distributed 42.2 million pounds of food and products through a network of nearly 1,000 charitable feeding programs and 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 Food for Kids, or for more information about the program, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call Laura Glover at 405.604.7111.  Connect online with the Regional Food Bank at twitter.com/rfbo or facebook.com/regionalfoodbank.

Download photos of students from the Regional Food Bank’s Flickr account.

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

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