Oklahoma Business Continues Feeding Hungry Children in Oklahoma

The Sweetness Factory Donates Profits to Food for Kids

Download B-roll from an interview with Deb Hanson, owner of The Sweetness Factory.

(Weatherford, Okla.) March, 13 2015 – The Sweetness Factory in Weatherford has been teaming up with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help fight childhood hunger for nearly three years. All of the profits from the store benefit the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids programs, which provide food to children struggling with hunger.

Since opening the Sweetness Factory, owner Deborah Hanson has been a supporter of the Food for Kids Programs by selling sweets to the community and through agreements with local businesses that allow her to sell leftover cupcakes to them once a week. 

“I was heartbroken when I heard a little girl asked for a half-eaten banana from the teacher’s trash can,” Hanson said. “Being able to help our region gives me a huge sense of accomplishment and we are thrilled that we have been able to help hundreds of hungry children thus far.”

The Sweetness Factory has more than 300 different flavors of cupcakes, 72 bulk candies, a 22-flavor salt water taffy bar, inspirational gifts and a shipping program. The Sweetness Factory is open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger because of inconsistent access to food. Thanks to donations from businesses like The Sweetness Factory, the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids programs provided more than 2.7 million meals to more than 31,000 chronically hungry children last fiscal year.

The Food for Kids Backpack Program provides chronically hungry elementary school students a backpack full of kid-friendly, nutritious food every Friday. Last year, the Regional Food Bank served more than 18,500 students in 501 schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.  In Custer County alone last year, the Regional Food Bank worked with eight schools to provide 285 students with backpacks full of food for the weekend.  Participating schools included: Arapaho-Butler Elementary School, Burcham Elementary School, East Elementary School, Nance Elementary School, Southwest Elementary School, Thomas Elementary School, Washington Elementary School and West Elementary School.

“I recently had a girl in the 4th grade tell me that her food sack was all she had in her house to eat over the weekend,” shared a Backpack program coordinator. “She was crying and told me thank you for loving her enough to care that she had food to eat.”

The Food for Kids School Pantry Program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food after school, over the weekends and during school holidays. Last year, school pantries served nearly 4,900 students in 124 schools and provided the equivalent of 619,310 meals.  In Custer County alone, School Pantries in Clinton High School, Clinton Middle School and Weatherford Middle School served 58 children last year. 

The Regional Food Bank is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed 47.8 million pounds of food and products through a network of nearly 1,200 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

Together, we can solve hunger. The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are the working poor, children and seniors living on fixed incomes. Through April 30, the Charles and Cassandra Bowen Charitable Foundation and the Anderson Charitable Foundation have teamed up to match donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to fight senior hunger – up to $130,000.  To make a donation, visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.600.3136.

About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest private hunger relief organization.  The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 110,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of nearly 1,200 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 550 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.