The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is asking Ponca City to join the fight against childhood hunger by making financial donations to the Food for Kids Programs. In total, an additional $200,000 is needed to ensure full funding of programs like the Backpack Program for chronically hungry students at elementary schools.

“Helping us provide much-needed food to children in central and western Oklahoma is so important for their future because when kids are hungry, they can’t learn,” says Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “With your support, we can help students thrive along with their peers.”

Food is the most essential school supply. Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided more than 2.3 million meals for chronically hungry children through its Food for Kids, which includes the Backpack Program, the School Pantry Program, Kids Cafés and Summer Feeding Program.

Through the Backpack Program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly non-perishable and nutritious food on Fridays to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.

The School Pantry Programs provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over the weekends.

Kids Cafes provide meals and snacks to children participating afterschool programs that provide tutoring and mentoring service.

Through the Summer Feeding Program, children up to the age of 18 years can receive a free, nutritious meal and snack on weekdays during the summer months when school is not in session.

“We kicked off this school year by asking Oklahoma to join us in the fight against childhood hunger and I want to thank everyone who has made a donation,” Fitzgerald says. “I am confident that working together, we can meet our goal of raising $200,000 to help feed the one in four children in Oklahoma who are living with hunger.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, visit foodforkids.us, or call 405-600-3136.