The Regional Food Bank's Food for Kids program started as a pilot program in 2003 after 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 with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Backpack Program served 18,816 elementary school students attending 512 schools across 53 central and western Oklahoma counties, providing more than 2 million meals for chronically hungry children..
The Regional Food Bank delivers pre-assembled food sacks and backpacks to participating schools at no cost to the school or the child.
The food bags contain approximately 10 different purchased foods designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry children over the weekend. These are kid-friendly, shelf-stable foods that require no preparation or refrigeration. Children can just "open and eat" without any adult supervision.
A $200 donation provides a backpack of food for one child for an entire school year. If you are interested in starting the Food for Kids Backpack Program at your school or have a question about the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-604-7103.
To make a donation to the Backpack Program or for more information about fundraising, please contact Dave Wattenbarger at email@example.com or 405.604.7107.
"A teacher noticed a student in her class asking for extra food on a daily basis and referred him to our Backpack Buddies program. During the same week, all students in our school celebrated 100 days of school. The same teacher asked her students to think of 100 things they would wish for. Some students wished for 100 video games, 100 pieces of candy, but this child wished for 100 days where food fell from the sky."
-- Backpack Program Coordinator