(Oklahoma City) - Aug. 10, 2017 – The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation recently donated $27,395.55 to fight childhood hunger statewide. The donation benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Program, which includes the Backpack Program.
Earlier this year, Oklahoma FFA members were encouraged to donate livestock shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo to the Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs program. This program provides protein sticks for the Food for Kids Backpack Program statewide. FFA chapter members were also asked to add 25 cents to each fundraising package they sold for their chapter and contribute that 25 cents to fight childhood hunger in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation collected the proceeds and also facilitated the donation of livestock to the Oklahoma Food Banks.
“I love this program because it encourages kids to help other kids,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation helps these young leaders by providing the resources they need to give back to help others. We are honored to be a part of this program.”
In total, $22,464.35 benefited the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids program and was matched to help even more chronically hungry kids, thanks to the Food for Kids Match. As a result, 112 children will be supported through the Food for Kids program for an entire school year in central and western Oklahoma. The other $4,931.20 of the donation benefits the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program.
“To know that the efforts of so many FFA members across the state is helping other children is very rewarding,” said Chris Kidd, executive director of the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation. “To know that this donation will be matched just makes it better. There isn’t a better youth organization in our state then the FFA.”
One in four children faces hunger every day. Through the Regional Food Bank’s Backpack Program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food like beef and pork protein sticks 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 who joined the program last year alone.
Through Sept. 30, donations made to Food for Kids will be matched – up to $150,000. Make a donation online at foodforkids.us or call 405-972-1111. This generous match is sponsored by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Benvenuti’s Ristorante, David Gorham and two anonymous donors
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest public hunger-relief organization. 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 nearly 600 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.
About the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation
The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works on behalf of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau to enhance awareness and understanding of agriculture’s contribution and importance to the state. For more information, visit www.okfarmingandranchingfoundation.org.