One in four children in Oklahoma never knows if they’ll have anything to eat after school. That’s a serious problem for our state and a tragedy for our state’s children. Because there is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development, even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature negatively impact a child’s health, behavior, and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is fighting childhood hunger through its Food for Kids programs: Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding, School Pantries and the School Break program. These five programs provided more than 2.1 million meals for chronically hungry children after school, on weekends, and during summer and holiday breaks last year.
These programs are changing the lives of our youth and, hopefully through education, breaking the cycle of poverty. One program coordinator told us about a student who was going to drop out of school and get a job to help support his family. Thanks to the School Pantry Program, he was able to stay in school, get the food his family needed, and graduate high school.
Please help us ensure Oklahoma students have the most essential back to school item this fall: food. Through Sept. 30 all donations to the Food for Kids program will be matched, up to $100,000. The match is made possible by The Boeing Company, Kia Motors America, Top of the World, and a generous Oklahoma family. For more information visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-604-7111.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
* NOTE: 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 than 15,000 students in 477 schools participated in the Backpack Program. In Jackson County alone, 216 children in seven schools benefited from the program. Participating schools included: Altus Intermediate, Rivers Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Washington Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary and Eldorado Elementary.
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 3,000 students in 91 middle and high schools. In Jackson County alone, three children benefited from the program.