durantdemocrat.com

Hunger must end Before learning can begin

Rodney W. Bivens Executive Director Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

September 1, 2013

One in four children in Oklahoma never knows if they’ll have anything to eat after school. That’s a serious problem for our state and a tragedy for our state’s children. Because there is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development, even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature negatively impact a child’s health, behavior, and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is fighting childhood hunger through its Food for Kids programs: Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding, School Pantries and the School Break program. These five programs provided more than 2.1 million meals for chronically hungry children after school, on weekends, and during summer and holiday breaks last year.
These programs are changing the lives of our youth and, hopefully through education, breaking the cycle of poverty. One program coordinator told us about a student who was going to drop out of school and get a job to help support his family. Thanks to the School Pantry Program, he was able to stay in school, get the food his family needed, and graduate high school.
Please help us ensure Oklahoma students have the most essential back to school item this fall: food. Through September 30 all donations to the Food for Kids program will be matched, up to $100,000. The match is made possible by The Boeing Company, Kia Motors America, Top of the World, and a generous Oklahoma family. For more information visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.604.7111.