We want to thank everyone who donated to the Enid News & Eagle’s annual Community Christmas Card.
The effort raises money for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids backpack program, which provides food for weekends and school breaks to elementary school students who are chronically hungry.
This year, the Community Christmas Card, which appeared in the newspaper on Christmas Day, raised $11,353 for the food program.
“Holidays are a time where we think especially of food and big meals, but we have to realize there is a significant number of children in Enid where hunger is a very real issue,” said News & Eagle Publisher Jeff Funk.
The News & Eagle solicits donations from readers, and all the money raised goes to the Food for Kids program to help children locally. For $1 per name, those who donate get their names published on the Community Christmas Card.
More than 250 separate donations, ranging from $2 to almost $2,000, were made by individuals, churches and organizations.
According to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, 1 in 4 Oklahoma children lives in a household facing food insecurity. Through the backpack program, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma provides children with kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food on Fridays through the school year to sustain them over the weekends and holidays. The food bank delivers pre-assembled food sacks to participating schools for free. The bags contain approximately 10 purchased foods designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry children.
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma launched the backpack program in 2003 “after learning about a student who passed out while waiting in the school lunch line because he had very little to eat at home over the weekend,” according to its website.
The program initially served 180 children in five Oklahoma City elementary schools. Now the food bank helps more than 19,000 children at 481 schools statewide.
It takes about $250 to provide for one child for an entire school year, so the Community Christmas Card donations will provide food for more than 45 children, and it all stays in Garfield County.
“The Food for Kids program offers a way of ... targeting food to children who need it most,” Funk said. “It’s a very direct way of helping, and we’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with readers and collect a really significant amount of donations to help with childhood hunger in Enid.”
Thank you again to everyone who helped to fight childhood hunger.