(Oklahoma City) – Aug. 24, 2017 – Homeland is committed to ensuring Oklahoma’s children have enough to eat this school year. Today, the Oklahoma-based grocery store donated $30,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program. Thanks to the Food for Kids match, this donation will be matched dollar for dollar, and will support 300 children in the Food for Kids program for an entire school year.
“As an employee-owned, Oklahoma-based company we are passionate about making sure all of Oklahoma’s children have food to eat,” said Marc Jones, president and chief executive officer of Homeland. “Our customers and our employee owners are proud of our partnership with the Regional Food Bank and the essential support it and its partner agencies provide across our state. This donation is just one way we are trying to live up to our mission of being a company of Oklahomans feeding Oklahomans.”
One in four children in Oklahoma faces hunger every day. The Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids program fights childhood hunger by providing food to chronically hungry children in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided millions of meals to chronically hungry children through the Food for Kids program, which includes: the Backpack Program, School Pantry Program, Kids Cafe and the Summer Feeding program.
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.
Kids Cafe is an after-school program that provides food, mentoring, tutoring, and a variety of other activities to 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.
“Homeland has been a generous supporter of the Regional Food Bank for nearly 30 years, and for that we are very grateful,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Food is the most essential school supply and Homeland’s donation will help ensure that 300 Oklahoma students have enough to eat this school year.”
In addition to supporting the Regional Food Bank with cash and product donations, Homeland participates in the Regional Food Bank’s Retail Food Recovery Program that allows partner agencies to collect and distribute perishable foods that retail grocery stores can no longer sell. The program helps the partner agencies provide deli meats, bread and bakery items, produce and other healthy perishable food items to the clients they serve. In July 2017, Homeland donated 34,660 pounds through the program. Homeland also supports the Regional Food Bank’s annual Feeding Hope Letter Carriers’ Food and Fund Drive held each May.
It’s not too late to help chronically hungry Oklahoma students. Through Sept. 30, every donation to the Food for Kids program will be matched, up to $150,000, thanks to the generosity of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Bienvenuti Ristorante, David Gorham and two anonymous donors. To make a donation, visit foodforkids.us or call 405-972-1111.
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in the state. Last fiscal year, the 501(c)(3) 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 hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks. The 501(c)(3) 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.
Homeland is Oklahoma’s largest locally-owned grocery store chain with 31 locations statewide. Homeland has been 100 percent employee-owned since 2011. Homeland’s mission is to serve its community by providing exceptional customer service, competitive prices and the freshest meat and produce available. For more information, please visit http://www.homelandstores.com/.