On December 10th the Oklahoma Pork Council donated $10,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help them process pork sticks for the Food for Kids Backpack Program. This brings the total okPORK has donated to the Food Bank to more than $142,000 over the last decade.
This program provides chronically hungry children with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays. This donation from okPORK will allow the Regional Food Bank to purchase more than 28,000 pork sticks. This program is based on successful collaborative relationships. The Regional Food Bank works with 4-H, FFA and multiple organizations to solicit and steward animal donations that are harvested for the protein sticks.
Thanks to a matching challenge from APMEX.com, the Cresap Family Foundation and Chesapeake Energy Corporation which matches every gift or donation received from Nov. 15 through Jan 15. dollar for dollar. Making okPORK’s $10,000 donation have double the impact.
“Making sure everyone has a meal is important to Oklahoma pork producers, especially around the holidays,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director. “okPORK enjoys giving such a large donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. We know the money along with the matching funds will help feed hungry kids all around the state.”
In the previous years, more than 1 million protein sticks were generated through these partnerships. Oklahoma is consistently one of the hungriest states in the nation. Food is the most essential school supply, yet one in four children in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to food. That’s why okPORK’s donation was so important.
“We are so grateful for the Oklahoma Pork Council’s support, which ensures children have enough to eat through Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs Program,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Working together, we are providing chronically hungry children in the state with an important Oklahoma-grown protein source.”
Besides donating the $10,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, okPORK board members have volunteered their time to help pass out the food backpacks at a selected school in January 2019.