ENID, Okla. — The 19th annual Feed the Neighborhood event is set for 5-8 p.m. Sunday at Stride Bank Center, 301 S. Independence, with plans for free food, shoes, family activities, haircuts and backpacks filled with school supplies for 2,000 area children.

Brittany Juliano, Feed the Neighborhood director, was present as a child to help with the first Feed the Neighborhood 19 years ago. She said the turnout and demand for help with school supplies at that first event was eye-opening, "and we've really tried to meet that need."

This will be the third year the event will be at Stride Bank Center and David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

Events begin in Stride Bank Center, where backpacks with school supplies will be handed out. Free haircuts and shoe vouchers from Foster Feet also will be available inside Stride Bank Center. Shoe vouchers will be redeemed with Foster Feet for shoes the following day, Monday, Aug. 12.

Children must be enrolled in kindergarten through ninth grade in order to receive a backpack, and all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

After attending the backpack event at Stride Bank Center, families can head across the street to David Allen Memorial Ballpark for free hot dogs, chips and water, games and inflatables, face painting and giveaways.

Juliano said the highlight of the evening is the annual bike giveaway. This year, drawings will take place to give new, free bikes to 30 children in attendance.

While the kids enjoy the food, games and giveaways, Juliano said the true meaning of Feed the Neighborhood is the opportunity to help families in need get their kids ready for school.

"For those families that can't afford back-to-school supplies, we give them the opportunity where their kids can go to the first day of school feeling prepared and ready to learn," Juliano said.

For more information on Feed the Neighborhood, contact Juliano at brittany@ftnenid.org or visit http://ftnenid.org.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
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