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Thunder Coach Scott Brooks Goes Nuts Over the Food Bank

Donates Time, Almonds to Fight Childhood Hunger

June 22, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY -Today, Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach, Scott Books, volunteered at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help pack bags of food for the Food for Kids Backpack Program.  Coach Brooks is also helping hungry Oklahoma children by donating almonds to the Regional Food Bank through Give Back 2 God, a nonprofit organization that he co-founded last year with friend Mike Kooyman.  To date, more than 100,000 packages of almonds have been distributed to children though the Regional Food Bank’s Food for Kids Backpack Program.

“Helping fight childhood hunger makes me feel great,” said Coach Brooks.  “We donate almonds to Food for Kids because they are a great source of protein and are healthy snacks.  I want to give back to the community for taking in me, my family and the Thunder Organization. We are very blessed.”

One in five children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger every day. The Backpack Program, which started in 2003, provides chronically hungry elementary school children with a backpack filled with non-perishable, kid-friendly food on weekends and holidays throughout the school year.

Kathren Stehno, who helps distribute the Food for Kids Backpacks each Friday, says the program has made a huge difference in the lives of the students at Prairie Queen Elementary. Last school year 20 children – all of whom participated in the free or reduced-price school meal program – took home backpacks full of food each weekend.

"For some of our students, this food is critical,” said Stehno, Backpack Program coordinator at Prairie Queen Elementary.  “Since many of these students come from families with parents who struggle to provide for their basic needs, the Food for Kids Backpack Program teaches them how to be responsible, because they have to remember to bring their backpacks back to school each Monday. It also helps them to trust others because they have this food to count on each Friday.”

Last school year, the program served more than 11,500 chronically hungry children in 374 schools in 49 central and western counties.  Before receiving help from the program, many of these children had very little or nothing to eat between school lunch on Friday and school breakfast on Monday. 

“The Oklahoma City Thunder has done a lot for this community,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank.  “And now, because of Coach Brook’s philanthropic efforts, thousands of hungry children are receiving the nourishment and protein they so desperately need.”

Almonds are nutritious, nutrient-rich snacks, which provide a good source of both vitamin E and protein.  In January 2010, Brooks and friend Mike Kooyman co-founded GiveBack2God in an effort to fill the nutritional void that exists for many families struggling with hunger. GiveBack2God provides individual servings of healthy, nutritious almonds from Kooyman’s almond orchard to food banks and disaster-relief organizations around the world.

For more information about GiveBack2God visit www.GiveBack2God.com, call 909.543.4282 or e-mail info@GiveBack2God.com.  For more information on childhood hunger, visit www.regionalfoodbank.org or call Lisa Perry at 405.600.3107.

To access b-roll from this event, please contact Vicki Guerra with the Thunder at Vicki Guerra VGuerra@Thunder-NBA.com.

Click here to see a photo of Coach Brooks, 2007 Miss America Lauren Nelson-Faram; and two youth-volunteers.

Click here to see a photo of 2007 Miss America Lauren Nelson-Faram; Executive Director Rodney Bivens; and Coach Brooks.

Click here to see a photo of Coach Brooks and 2007 Miss America Lauren Nelson-Faram packing Food for Kids Backpack sacks with youth.

Click here to see a photo of Coach Brooks and 2007 Miss America Lauren Nelson-Faram packing a Food for Kids Backpack bag.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that acts as a link through which the food industry and community may donate food and other goods. The products are then distributed to more than 750 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In the last fiscal year, the Regional Food Bank distributed 36.5 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 400 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.  Visit regionalfoodbank.org or scan the QR code below to learn more.

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