We're about halfway through the Tulsa State Fair and, so far, you've helped News On 6 raise more than $4,000 for the Food Bank's Food for Kids Program.
The food bank's backpack program relies on the public to keep it going, and your dollars can help feed thousands of hungry school children every week. For every $120 collected, one child will receive a backpack full of food each week for the entire school year.
“We couldn't put the backpacks out if we didn't have donors who gave cash because this isn't the type of product that comes in through food drives and we have to have 9,000 uniform items to go into these backpacks every week,” said Eileen Bradshaw with the Community Food Bank.
Terry: “How important are volunteers to the Food for Kids Program?”
Bradshaw: “We would not be able to maintain the Food For Kids Program without volunteers because it’s thousands of backpacks have to go out every week, and we don't have enough extra hands here at the food bank to do that.”
“Once the volunteers pack the bags, then they're all put into cases and they're distributed by the case to the schools that need them,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said Tulsa Public Schools takes it to their warehouse and distributes to the school. Smaller schools will pick it up from them and take it straight to the kids.
“We have over 9,000 going out every week. This is the beginning of school, so it sort of ramps up, but over 9,000 children receive backpacks on a weekly basis,” she said.
Bradshaw said warehouse workers are vital to the process.
“They stay late if they need to, and they think about the fact that it’s not just boxes they’re moving around, those are meals for people and backpacks for kids,” she said.
The food bank covers 24 counties across the state to help where they can.
“I think it’s a labor of love and it really is representative of our community,” Bradshaw said. “Now that we know there are children out there hungry, it would just be tragic to think that there's a need and we're not meeting it.”
If you would like to make a donation to Food for Kids, you can text “meals” to 501-501 to give $10.