Backpacks to benefit non-profits

Ponca City Now - July 21, 2016 11:39 am

Thanks to Backpacks with a Purpose (B-WAP), for every backpack that is purchased, two backpacks are donated to nonprofits, including the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Backpack Program.

“We are very thankful for this partnership, which will allow us to further grow our Backpack Program to feed chronically hungry elementary school children in our state,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank.

To purchase a backpack, and help fight childhood hunger, visit

One in four children in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to food. 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.

During the 2014-2015 school year, the Backpack Program served nearly 18,500 elementary school students attending 514 schools across 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. This provided more than 2 million meals for chronically hungry children.

In Kay County alone during the 2014-15 school year, 400 children in seven schools participated in this 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.

According to a survey of Backpack Program coordinators, the program has reduced absenteeism and behavioral problems, as well as improved grades among chronically hungry children.

“A student in first grade says her tummy doesn't hurt anymore since she got her backpack,” shared a Backpack Program coordinator.

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 1,250 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

Together, we can solve hunger. For more information about the Regional Food Bank, or to make a donation, visit or call (405) 600-3136.


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