Every year, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation partner with FFA chapters and Oklahoma Food Banks to help fight childhood hunger in Oklahoma. Through the Oklahoma FFA’s Hunger Challenge program, FFA members across the state are encouraged to donate livestock to provide protein sticks for the Oklahoma Food Bank’s Food for Kids backpack program.
A total of 226 FFA chapters donated to the Hunger Challenge this year, providing 1,015,764 protein sticks for the backpack program. Donations were raised at the 2016 Tulsa State Fair and Oklahoma Youth Expo in March.
“Agriculture is the state’s second-leading industry, so it’s staggering to see hunger remain in our state,” said Monica Wilke, OKFB executive director. “As the state’s largest general farm organization, feeding every Oklahoman is our responsibility. We’re honored to partner with Oklahoma FFA chapters in working toward a hunger-free Oklahoma.”
The Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs–a collaboration between local farmers, manufacturers and processors–provide protein sticks for the Food for Kids backpack program.
This program supplies chronically hungry elementary school children with a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food every Friday to sustain them over weekends and school holidays. Last year, 29,000 elementary school children received food during the school year through this program.
“No child should have to go without food. We are so thankful to the hundreds of FFA members across the state who joined us in fighting hunger in Oklahoma,” said Jeramy Rich, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation president. “Thanks to the sacrifices of these students, we are working to help end hunger in Oklahoma.”
The Oklahoma Food Banks always need additional assistance with its backpack program. To donate to the Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs, contact the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation at 405-202-1463 or visit the OKF&R website here.