One in four children in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to healthy food. The Regional Food Bank is working hard to end childhood hunger in Oklahoma by providing chronically hungry children with the meals they need today to help them thrive. More than 37 percent of the Regional Food Bank's emergency food recipients are children. Last year, the Regional Food Bank saw a dramatic increase in the need for food assistance. For the first time ever, nearly 44,000 chronically hungry children were served through the Food for Kids Programs, a 17 percent increase.
Because there is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development, even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature can negatively impact a child's health, behavior and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks. Going without food can cause behavioral and psychological effects such as depression, aggression, anxiety and poor social skills in children. Food is the most essential school supply. Hungry children cannot learn.
The Regional Food Bank serves children directly through four programs in its Food for Kids Programs: Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding and School Pantries. To learn about each of these programs, click on the links below.