Oklahoma teachers and administrators have been seeing more and more hungry children in their classes. In fact, some students were only eating lunch at school and doing without over the week-ends. When this fact was brought to the attention of the Oklahoma Food Bank, they began the Food For Kids Program.
In an interview on KWTV, an administrator for one of Oklahoma’s schools told the story of a little girl he found eating balloons. When he asked why she was eating balloons, her answer seemed obvious to her. “I am hungry,” she answered honestly.
A teacher told a KWTV reporter that a little girl in her class was crying. When she was asked what was wrong, the little girl explained that her pet rabbit had died. The girl continued sobbing and told the rest of the story. Her family had killed the rabbit and ate it, seeing there was nothing else for them to eat.
“I didn’t know about any of this [until I saw it on Channel 9]. Balloons – wow. That is so sad,” Mandy, from Enid stated. “I can’t imagine. If I knew the kids that weren’t eating, I would feed them myself.”
Children who go without food, even for a short time, are more likely to have many different problems. There is a direct connection between a child’s development and nutrition. Lack of food can have a negative influence on a child’s behavior and health as well as cause psychological and behavioral problems.
“Oklahomans need to help each other and put a stop to this problem,” Mandy said. “No child should go hungry. Do anything that you can to help!”
The cost for the Kids Backpack Program is covered completely by donations from Oklahomans concerned about children going hungry. A donation of $200 will provide on backpack for a child for an entire school year. Oklahoma businesses are also helping with this program to stop children from being hungry. Some are even matching donations from their employees and the general public. Every little bit helps and no donation is too small to make a difference.
The Food For Kids Backpack Program is just one of four programs that the Oklahoma Food Bank has that helps to feed Oklahoma’s children. They also offer Kid’s Café, School Pantries and the Summer Feeding Program.