Thousands of Oklahoma school children will now have adequate protein to supplement their diets after Oklahoma livestock producers donated more than 50 head of cattle and pigs to the Food for Kids program at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Earlier this year a plea was issued by the Food Bank for producers to donate animals. The call was heard loud and clear!
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our livestock producers,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “This is a great opportunity to help educate the public that the food is there because someone has worked hard to produce it, and we are so thankful to have livestock owners willing to donate the food.”
The livestock will be used to produce protein sticks as part of the Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs programs. The programs are collaboration among the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Beef Council, Oklahoma Pork Council, Oklahoma State University Food and Agricultural Products Center, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Ralphs Meat Company in Perkins and Chickasha Meats.
Each week, volunteers at the Regional Food Bank stuff backpacks with nutritious food and snacks that are handed out to school children to supplement their weekend diets. Beef and pork sticks supplied by program partners provide a valuable source of protein. The backpacks are an integral part of the Food for Kids program.
The program serves 475 elementary schools in 53 counties across central and western Oklahoma, providing backpacks to more than 13,500 chronically hungry children each week.
Every pound of donated meat produces approximately 8 to 10 protein sticks.
To help sustain the program, program partners are asking beef and pork producers to consider a commitment of at least one animal per year.
For more information on how to donate livestock, contact Thad Doye, (405) 523-2307, firstname.lastname@example.org.
One can also go to www.okfarmbureau.org or www.regionalfoodbank.org.