Food for Kids and Made In Oklahoma Benefits Edmond
The Regional Food Bank started the Food for Kids
program in January 2003 in response to hearing a firsthand account of an
Oklahoma City elementary student who fainted on a Monday morning, while waiting
in the school lunch line, due to lack of food over the weekend.
The program provides chronically hungry children,
identified by school personnel, with backpacks filled with non-perishable,
kid-friendly food to eat on weekends and school holidays. The program was
launched in 2003 with five Oklahoma City schools serving 180 children.
Last year, Edmond’s participating schools included: Orvis
Risner Elementary with 33 children, Centennial Elementary with 13 children and
Will Rogers Elementary with 12 children.
“Thanks to sponsors Buy for Less
Grocery Stores; Top of the World; and Marc Heitz Auto Family, from August 30th
until September 30th, all of the donations made to the Regional Food Bank of
Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program will be matched, dollar for dollar, up
to $102,000,” said Andrea Hurst.
Food for Kids has grown significantly since 2003,
serving 296 elementary schools in 42 counties across central and western
Oklahoma, providing backpacks to nearly 8,000 chronically hungry children each
week during the 2008-2009 school year. The program continues to expand, with
new schools being added each semester.
“The impact of the program has been
overwhelmingly positive,” said Hurst. “Teachers report improvements in
attendance, attention, grades and self esteem.
The long-term objectives of the Food
for Kids program are to give participating children the power to learn and
grow independently, and provide hope for their future, thereby giving them the
opportunity to become well-adjusted and involved Oklahoma citizens.
To help combat this critical need, the Made in Oklahoma
Coalition, in partnership with Orchids Paper Company of Pryor, introduced MIO
Paper Towels in March 2009. Proceeds from the sale of MIO Paper Towels support
the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.
Currently, the MIO Paper Towels have generated enough revenue to add 245
students to the program.
“By addressing the needs of these
children, we are working toward meeting the Regional Food Bank’s goal of ending
hunger among Oklahoma’s children,” said Hurst. “An elementary school principal
said it best, ‘When hunger ends, learning begins’.”
donation of $200 provides a backpack of food for one child every weekend for an
entire school year. To learn more about how you can help, visit www.regionalfoodbank.org.