(Oklahoma City) – Aug. 1, 2017 – Hunger must end before learning can begin. Through Sept. 30, the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Benvenuti’s Ristorante, David Gorham and two anonymous donors have offered to match all gifts to the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids program, up to $150,000!
“The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma is proud to be a part of the Food for Kids match again,” said Rick Allison, grand master. “One out of every four children in our state struggles with hunger, and that’s just unacceptable. We hope the community will take up this challenge and help us reach our goal so that hungry children have sufficient healthy, nutritious food to help improve their learning potential and their overall quality of life.”
Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided millions of meals to chronically hungry children through the Food for Kids childhood hunger program, which included the Backpack Program, School Pantry Program, Kids Cafe and Summer Feeding Program.
“To the people that are donating, thank you so much,” said one Backpack Program school coordinator. “The difference this program makes is astounding. If you could reach inside your heart and help it would mean so much.”
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. During the 2016-17 school year, more than 21,000 students in 500 schools participated in the Backpack Program. That’s an additional 3,000 chronically hungry elementary school children joined the program last year alone.
The School Pantry Program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over weekends. The School Pantry Program ended last school year serving nearly 5,465 students at 165 schools.
The Kids Café is an after-school program provides food, mentoring, tutoring, and a variety of other activities to more an average of 3,000 children each month at 34 sites in central and western Oklahoma.
The Summer Feeding program provides meals to children 18 and under over the long summer months when free and reduced price meals are not available at school. Over the summer, more than 120 sites in central and western Oklahoma provided meals to children struggling with hunger.
“This match will help the Regional Food Bank fill backpacks with food for chronically hungry elementary school children and stock the shelves of middle and high school food pantries,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “This special opportunity will double the impact of your gift. Food is the most essential school supply and your support is needed to ensure Oklahoma students have enough to eat this school year.”
To make a tax-deductible donation to Food for Kids visit foodforkids.us or call 405-972-1111. Thanks to the generous match, every $100 donated will support a child in the program for an entire school year.
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed 52 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest private, domestic hunger relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks. The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 126,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 653 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry. For more information, visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/regionalfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rfbo.