The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

December 26, 2013

Enid citizens raise more than $6,000 for Food for Kids backpack program

ENID, Okla. — Thank you Enid.

You came through again with the News & Eagle’s effort to help Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program.

The News & Eagle prints a Community Christmas Card in the newspaper every Christmas Day. For a donation of $2, people can put their names on the card, with all proceeds going to the Food for Kids backpack program.

This year, more than $6,000 was raised for the backpack program, which provides backpacks filled with food every Friday during the school year to students identified as chronically hungry, to feed them over the weekend. School officials identify the students in need.

According to the food bank, the backpacks contain approximately 10 different foods designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry kids on the weekend. These are kid-friendly foods that require no preparation. Items include Beef sticks, peanut butter and crackers, beans and franks, beef stew, cereal, fruit cups, vegetable cups, snack mix, raisins, pudding, juice boxes and granola bars.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma started the backpack program in 2003 with five Oklahoma City schools serving 180 children. It has grown since and now serves 477 elementary schools in 53 counties across central and western Oklahoma, providing food to more than 15,000 chronically hungry children.

Think about being a child and being hungry in school. How are you going to concentrate on your work when you mainly are worried about your next meal. Teachers with students in the backpack program have reported better school attendance, improved performance, better concentration and increased self-esteem.

To those of you who contributed to the Community Christmas Card and the backpack program, once again we say thank you. You are making a difference.

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