On December 6th the Oklahoma Pork Council donated $10,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to support its Food for Kids Backpack Program. This brings the total of okPORK donations since this partnership began to more than $152,000. okPORK board members, staff and pig famers also volunteered in the USDA Protein Packaging Center.
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 process and package more than 28,000 pork sticks. This program is based on successful collaborative relationships. The Regional Food Bank works with multiple organizations to solicit and steward animal donations that are harvested for the sticks. Many of these animal donations come Oklahoma 4-H and FFA members.
“We are so proud of the youth in 4-H and FFA across Oklahoma who work hard on their show projects and then donate them at the end of the show season to help other kids who are food insecure,” said Nikki Snider, okPORK Director of Marketing and Communication. “So directing our yearly donation to the Food for Kids backpack program helps us show our appreciation to those kids and the Food Bank for their great work.”
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, okPORK’s $10,000 donation will have double the impact. (waiting to see if this is correct)
“Feeding the world, especially hungry Oklahoman’s is important to Oklahoma pork producers, especially around the holidays,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director. “Which is why we enjoy 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.”
Last year, 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 is why okPORK’s donation was so important.
Besides donating the $10,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, more than 20 okPORK board members and Oklahoma pig farmers volunteered their time in the USDA protein packaging center to help measure and pack Canadian bacon to go to Oklahoma families in need. They sorted more than 2,080 pounds of meat, which would provide more than 1,730 meals for hungry Oklahomans.
“It was an honor to be able to assist the Oklahoma Pork Council by volunteering in the USDA Protein Packaging Center,” said Kynna Brooks, Human Resource Generalist at The Maschhoffs. “It means a lot for us as pig farmers to be able to produce the product and then volunteer and share it with our neighbors in Oklahoma.”
To learn more about okPORK support visit www.okpork.org or call 405-232-3781.