$150,000 Match Helps Feed Hungry Children in Kay County

Ponca City Now - August 1, 2016 10:20 am

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, Top of the World, David Gorham and two anonymous families have issued a $150,000 matching gift challenge to support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in fighting childhood hunger in Oklahoma.

Every childhood hunger-relief gift made between now and Sept. 30 will be matched, up to $150,000.

One in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger every day. More than 421,000 students in Oklahoma public schools received free and reduced-price school meals last year. The Food for Kids programs provide food for chronically hungry children over weekends and school holidays when school is not in session.

“You never know what children are up against until you get to know them or have a chance to sit and talk with them,” said one Food for Kids school coordinator. “I truly believe this program is the best thing that has happened for our children. I've been here for 10 years and I can definitely tell the difference that it has made in these children.”

Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided millions of meals to chronically hungry children through its Food for Kids programs, which included 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.

During the 2014 – 2015 school year in Kay County, 400 children at seven schools participated in the program. Schools included: Blackwell Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, Kildare Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School, McCord Public Schools, Tonkawa Elementary School and Trout Elementary School.

"You just don't know what this means to us,” shared three sisters on the Backpack Program. “We don't have any food at home."

The School Pantry program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over the weekends.

During the 2014 – 2015 school year in Kay County, 202 children at five schools participated in the program. Schools included: Ponca City East Middle School, Ponca City High School, Ponca City West Middle School, Teen Pep and Wildcat Academy.

“With parents struggling to make ends meet, our students are relieved to be able to come to our school and get what they need from our pantry,” shared one School Pantry coordinator.

“This special match opportunity will help the Regional Food Bank stock the shelves of middle and high school food pantries and distribute backpacks filled with food for chronically hungry children,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “Double the impact of your gift by making a donation today so that hungry children will have food tomorrow.”

Normally, a $200 gift will support a child in Food for Kids for an entire school year; during this Food for Kids match, your gift will double to provide weekend food for two children for an entire school year. To make a tax-deductible donation to Food for Kids, or for more information about the program, visit foodforkids.us or call (405) 600-3136.

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 more than 52 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.


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