Your Voice Is Needed to Fight Childhood Hunger

Tell Congress Support Increased Access to Childhood Nutrition Programs

(OKLAHOMA CITY.) – Sept. 14, 2015 – One in four children in Oklahoma may go to bed hungry tonight, but you can help.  With August recess over, Congress will decide how to fund child nutrition programs through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, also known as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).  Join the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in fighting childhood hunger by asking Congress to support increased access to child nutrition programs in Oklahoma by September 30th.

“Help us tell Congress one hungry child is one too many,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “The current bill expires on September 30th and programs supported by CNR fill significant meal gaps for children struggling with hunger.  By signing our letter of support, or calling your Senators and Representative, you can let Congress know that eliminating childhood hunger is a priority.”

CNR occurs once every five years and encompasses programs such as:

  • The National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs, which provide school meals to 436,000 low-income Oklahoma public school students.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program, which provides after school snacks and meals to 52,000 Oklahoma participants.
  • Summer Food Service Program, which bridges the nutrition gap during the summer by feeding an average of 16,850 children each day.
  • Women, Infants & Children Program, which provides food and formula to children and nursing mothers.  Half of all infants born in Oklahoma are enrolled in this program.

The consequences of child hunger are broad and long-lasting. Food insecure children are more likely to experience learning and academic difficulties, reduced concentration, lower test scores and school absenteeism and tardiness, making them 1.4 times more likely to repeat a grade. They also have poor general health, which results in one-third greater likelihood of a history of hospitalization.  That’s why CNR is so important.

The Regional Food Bank provides enough food to feed 116,000 people each week, 37 percent of whom are children.  The nonprofit fights childhood hunger through its partner agencies in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties, as well as its Food for Kids childhood hunger programs.  Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided the equivalent of 3.2 million meals to chronically hungry children through Food for Kids, which includes the Backpack Program and School Pantries.

  • 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.  Last school year, more nearly 18,500 students in 514 schools participated in the Backpack Program.  
  • The School Pantry Program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over the weekends. The School Pantry Program ended last school year serving nearly 5,000 students in143 middle and high schools. 

 

Together, we can solve childhood hunger. Click here to read and send Congress a letter.  For more information on how to call your member of Congress click here or contact Effie Craven at ecraven@regionalfoodbank.org or call (405) 600-3129.

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 49.9 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,200 charitable feeding programs and schools 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.  The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 116,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 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 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.

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