Hunger in America: Running out of food

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Cathy loves her children. She describes 3-year-old Saul as “very smart” and 2-year-old Carla as “very sassy.” She tells me that Carla is her miracle baby — she was on a ventilator for the first 2-1/2 weeks of her life.

Coming close to losing her has created an extra sense of protectiveness. That makes it especially tough on Cathy when she struggles to provide for Carla and Saul.

“I do run out of food, and it’s sad, sometimes it breaks my heart,” Cathy says.

“There are countless times that I’ve broke down crying because I didn’t have nothing for the kids, or nothing for myself,” she says.

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What makes it even more frustrating for Cathy is that she has a full-time job at a canning factory. But it’s not enough.

“I get paid every Thursday, but by the time that I pay my bills, I have maybe enough money to put in my gas tank so I can make it back and forth to work…” Cathy explains.

Cathy wants to go to school to become a pharmaceutical technician so she can earn a better income, but wonders how she can take classes and still work to provide for her family. The day to day struggle is very real.

“Running out of food is — it makes me just feel like a bad mom sometimes and I don’t like that feeling…” Cathy says. “I like to make sure my kids are well taken care of.”

You can help defeat hunger by providing food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help a mom like Cathy put food on the table for her two children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Carla and Saul!

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Donate

News Roundup, August 22, 2016

When the Waters Rise… Feed the Children is There

Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope, Office Depot Foundation and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Louisiana families affected by the recent flooding.

So far, Feed the Children has provided nearly 270,000 pounds of supplies, valued at more than $400,000. The much-needed items are currently being delivered to Louisiana families via partner organizations. Historic flooding began plaguing Louisiana earlier this month. Some 13 fatalities have been reported, with tens of thousands of people requiring rescue due to flooding conditions statewide.

Supplies include disaster-relief boxes, which contain personal-care items, cleaning supplies, and Energizer portable lights, flashlights and batteries, as well as food boxes and water coolers. Niagara water provided by Feed the Children will be transported into affected areas via The Salvation Army.

“Because of the generosity of Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope and Office Depot Foundation, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need us most,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Louisiana.”

And we’re in it for the long haul: Feed the Children will continue working with existing partners in Louisiana and the surrounding areas to plan for continued relief and recovery efforts.

To make a gift to help those affected by disasters like the Louisiana-area floods, visit www.feedthechildren.org/disaster.

Photo: Patrick Dennis/AP

Whataburger Helps Feed Bodies, Minds and Futures

Whataburger has donated $15,000 to our Oklahoma City Teacher Store during our Season Opener of the store earlier this month. Thousands of teachers from pre-approved Title I schools were welcomed at the Teacher Store over a three-day period to shop for school supplies at no cost.

The annual event drew teachers from across Oklahoma, allowing them to fill one bag of supplies and collect an assortment of books for the new school year. Supplies included classroom essentials such as notebooks, paper and instructional materials.

“Whataburger is proud to commit $15,000 to Feed the Children for the Teacher Store,” said Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace. “Our teachers are facing significant budget cuts, so it’s our hope that this money will help provide them with the supplies they need for their classrooms.”

Representatives and employees from several organizations volunteered during the event, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister; Oklahoma Principal of Excellence Price Brown; Feed the Children President and CEO J.C. Watts, Jr.; and Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace and Marketing Coordinator Laura Danser.

Feed the Children opened the Teacher Store in 2009 to reach as many Pre-K through 12th-grade students as possible by providing resources and supplies to teachers in Oklahoma. Teachers from Title I schools are eligible to shop in the store once a month for free.

Feed the Children Supports Maternal Health in Kenya

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Feed the Children employees in Samburu County, Kenya, joined Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to construct a traditional community maternal health shelter known as “Manyatta” (house made of sticks and grass), to be used by pregnant women during child delivery.

The structure was built following recommendations by the CHVs and community nurses. They reported that due to cultural perceptions, pregnant mothers are opting to deliver their babies at home because they believe the local clinic is unfit for their new born babies. Mothers in Samburu believe that a Manyatta is warmer and more conducive for delivery than health facilities. Some mothers also trust Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to assist them in the delivery process more than nurses.

Once the Manyatta facility is completed, TBA’s will be trained by nurses on sanitary, modern delivery procedures that ensure a safer delivery process for both baby and mother. This will help in increasing the deliveries assisted by a skilled practitioner and will reduce maternal deaths.

Feed the Children’s work in Samburu revolves around working in partnership with P&G, local communities, ministry of health and other partners to transform lives by improving food and nutrition security of mothers and their children. This project is aimed toward reducing maternal and child illnesses and deaths, improving access to and use of sanitation infrastructures using community-led total sanitation, reducing diarrheal cases, adopting water purification processes using P&G water purifiers.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente Makes a Difference

Name: Kaiser Permanente – Print Services Team
From: Corona, CA
Volunteer Location: Ontario, CA
Volunteer Activities: Box Brigade, Sort and Prep
Volunteer Since: May 2014

Why do you volunteer with Feed the Children?
To be able to give back to the community and assist families in need.

What is your favorite part of volunteering with us?
Knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives.

How did you learn about volunteering at Feed the Children?
We researched organizations that assist children in need and came across Feed the Children. We believe in the good this organization is doing for the community and the families they help.

How has volunteering made an impact on your life?
The majority of the team are parents, and understand the need to assist children within our community. Knowing we have been blessed to have the ability and opportunity to assist others during their time of need has become a mission of our team, as well as of our business organization.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Print Services is made up of caring and thoughtful individuals who enjoy joining forces to make an impact on the lives of others. Along with volunteering their time to assist Feed the Children as a team, many volunteer individually to support other great causes to improve our community by giving back.

Feeding Bodies, Minds and Futures… in the Philippines

It’s August, and families here in the United States are preparing for children to go back to school. Parents across the country will spend August wandering store aisles while clutching school supply lists, or pawing through the bin of kids’ sneakers looking for the right size, or maybe ordering school uniforms online. And while we may grumble about the prices, many of us will be able to provide these items for our children without too much difficulty.

But imagine what it’s like not to be able to purchase the items kids need to be successful in school. That’s the reality for too many families, not only here, but around the world.

Meet Veronica and Ana, two teenagers who live in a large city in the Philippines. Both live in a poor area, with too much crime, drug use and violence. But both have stable homes and families, and their parents work hard to make ends meet. Veronica’s parents wake up early each and every day to cook food and package it for sale in their neighborhood. Ana’s father also works in the food industry, as a fish vendor. He doesn’t have much income left over after paying their bills, not to mention debts they owe to neighbors who loaned them money for their kids’ educational expenses.

Neither of these families has the luxury of extra income for school supplies. Veronica helps her parents with the food sales, but the allowance she receives never goes for fun things a sixteen-year-old might enjoy. Instead she spends the money—when she has some—on basic necessities for school.

Veronica and Ana are both outstanding students who deserve to have their dreams nurtured. Veronica doesn’t have a lot of books herself, but devours the ones she can access for free online. She hopes to take up business management if given the chance to go to college. She dreams of buying a restaurant for her parents to help their food preparation business thrive.

For her part, Ana is deemed “a brilliant child” by those who know her. As an honor student, she has received numerous awards and medals through her academic work. She likes art and music and enjoys writing poems.

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Ana

Both of these young women deserve a good education, free from worry. That’s why Feed the Children helps provide nutritious meals, supplies, backpacks, shoes, and educational workshops to Veronica and Ana and so many young people just like them.

Before, Veronica and Ana’s parents could never get ahead in terms of saving income—every penny went to the basics. Now, with assistance from Feed the Children, and made possible through countless partners and donors, they can start to get ahead. Both of these girls will be looking at college soon.

“Feed the Children has been helpful to us,” says Veronica. “Because of them I am more motivated in going to school, and I am more focused on my studies in order to maintain my scholarship.”

“Feed the Children has done so much to help me,” Ana agrees. “I am so thankful that there is Feed the Children! Because of the support that I have gotten, I have learned to value my studies even more than before, and to work harder and to be even better in my studies.”

This work is only possible because of support from people like you. Help children build bodies, minds and futures. Learn more about our educational initiatives and give what you can today.

 

Hunger in America: The summertime struggle

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Tricia loves her children. She says 10-year-old Eleanor is “very smart, she loves school, everybody likes her.” (Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve.)

As a mom, she wants her kids to have everything they need. But lately, that’s been a challenge. Tricia suffers from chronic kidney disease. In the past 5 years, she’s had 14 surgeries. When they can’t afford her pain medication, she goes without.

Her husband has been trying to find work for several months. Thankfully, he just got a job, but it’s going to take this family some time to get back on their feet. And that means a tight budget. Especially during the summer months.

“Our cabinets have been empty several times,”

Tricia says.

“And some days mom and dad don’t eat because we make sure they eat.”

Imagine how hard it is for this family and so many others to just put food on the table for their children. And providing three meals a day during the summer makes it even more difficult.

“Sometimes we’ve had to sell personal objects to feed them during the summertime,” Tricia explains. “We even sold a car once to make it through the summer.”

Now that we’re in August, families are thinking about school again.

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“It’s very difficult when school starts!” Tricia exclaims. “Not only food, but school supplies, school clothes — and my children are growing like crazy. It’s very expensive.”

“Some days it’s just, it’s heartbreaking,” Tricia shares. “And I think that’s the worst thing, the worst feeling a mother can feel is not being able to feed their child.”

You can provide food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help fill the gap. You can fill the empty cabinets for a mom like Tricia so she can put food on the table for Eleanor and her three other children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Eleanor!

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Donate

If Tricia’s story has moved you, please share it with others. Introduce them to this struggling mom and how they can help hungry children across America like Eleanor.

News Roundup, July 18, 2016

Oklahoma Athletic Programs Lend a Hand

OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Norman-area families last month. Some 400 families received food and essentials, filling one Feed the Children semitruck at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Volunteers from OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools, the Center for Children and Families and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting.

The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including OKDHS, Arise Ministries, Variety Care, Choice Matters, Farmers Insurance, Moore Norman Technology Center, Cleveland County Health Department, ONIE, and free haircuts provided by Paul Mitchell students and instructors.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.04.58 PMMeanwhile, OSU Athletics and United Way also teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Stillwater-area families in June. Another 400 families received food and essentials, filling one Feed the Children semitruck at the Wes Watkins Center.

Volunteers from OSU Athletics, United Way and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting. The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including COCAA, Habitat for Humanity, Ocean Dental, The Saville Center for Child Advocacy, Payne County Youth Services, Inc. and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Center.

Truck Driver Receives Honors

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.05.17 PMFrederick Murray, an Oklahoma City-based driver for Feed the Children’s core carrier FTC Transportation, Inc., was recently awarded first place in the 5-Axle Sleeper Berth Division of the 2016 Oklahoma Truck Driving Championships. Murray will now advance to the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships Aug. 10–13 in Indianapolis, IN.

The two-day 2016 Oklahoma Truck Driving Championships took place last month and included a written exam, personal interview, pre-trip inspection-skills test and a driving-skills test that included six challenges. Murray’s first-place honor was one of many honors he has received throughout his career.

Murray’s record consists of 10 Safe Driving Awards, including third runner-up for Driver of the Year in 2014 and second runner-up for Driver of the Year in 2015. With a career of almost 40 years in the transportation field, Murray has successfully traveled 3.8 million safe-driving miles. Salute!

Hope and Help for Houston

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Teleperformance, Reach Out America and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Houston-area families affected by  recent flooding. Teleperformance has sponsored two Feed the Children semitrucks of disaster-relief items for families in need.

Heavy rainfall began in Houston and surrounding areas May 26. A total of 15 people have died due to flooding conditions. This combined effort between Teleperformance, Reach Out America and Feed the Children will help support Houston communities, including West Columbia/Bar X Ranch, Holiday Lakes, Richmond and Woodlands. Feed the Children is providing items such as cleaning supplies, Rubbermaid water coolers and boxes filled with food.

Food Distribution Highlights

Major League Baseball and StarKist® stepped up to bat on July 14 with Feed the Children and community organizations in the Compton, California-area to help strike out hunger. In Compton alone, nearly 24 percent of people live below the poverty line.

Feed the Children distributed two semi-trucks of food and essentials as part of a 13-city national partnership with Major League Baseball. Eight hundred families, pre-identified by the MLB Urban Youth Academy, received a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products. Families also received Disney Books and additional products provided by StarKist®.

Volunteers from StarKist, Pop Chips, MLB Urban Youth Academy, and Feed the Children will be onsite serving and assisting.

As part of the partnership with MLB and StarKist®, we also held an event in the Boston/Roxbury area recently. Another two truckloads of food and supplies were given to families in need in that community, where more than a quarter of people live below the poverty line.

That same week, the Association of United States Army (AUSA) teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Lawton, Oklahoma-area families.

Four hundred families — pre-identified by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Workforce Oklahoma, Lawton Housing Authority, Southwest Youth and Family Services and Lawton Food Bank — received similar food, supplies and products.

The event also featured community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including WIC, SNAP, Armed Services YMCA, Marie Detty Youth and Family Service Center, Christian Family Counseling Center, Lawton Food Bank, Workforce Oklahoma, Center for the Advancement of Wellness/Oklahoma State Department of Health, and Legal Aid Services.

News Roundup, June 20, 2016

AutoZone Supports and Celebrates Feed the Children

AutoZone recently selected Feed the Children as a recipient of a 2016 AutoZone Regional Charitable Grant. The organization presented the $1,000 donation to Feed the Children representatives late last month at an AutoZone in Oklahoma City, home of Feed the Children headquarters.

Through AutoZone’s Regional Charitable Grant Program, AutoZone is proud to make charitable grants to two deserving organizations in each of its 53 regions in the United States each spring. AutoZoners from every region nominate deserving and effective community-based nonprofit organizations for a chance to be awarded a $1,000 donation from AutoZone.

Recently, an AutoZone employee in this region nominated Feed the Children for a 2016 AutoZone Regional Charitable Grant. Feed the Children was selected as a winner among hundreds of nominations.

“Feed the Children strives to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “We are honored to receive this donation from AutoZone as we work together in the fight to end hunger in our own backyard.”

“AutoZone’s unique and powerful culture has been at the foundation of our success. This culture is characterized by AutoZoners’ deep commitment to customer satisfaction, caring about people and giving back to our communities,” said Bill Rhodes, AutoZone Chairman, President and CEO, Customer Satisfaction. “We express our deep gratitude to our customers and to the communities we call home.”

Priority for awarding grants was placed on 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that address education, youth development, military support, public safety, arts access and health and wellness. We’re thrilled and humbled to receive this honor.

Feeding Minds as Well as Bodies

Oklahoma Public Schools in Woodward, Oklahoma teamed up with Feed the Children to help feed children in need. Last month, a box truck filled with children’s books was delivered to Woodward Public Schools. The truck was sponsored by the estate of Elizabeth Stevens.

The event is one of many Feed the Children has planned across Oklahoma this summer to help feed bodies, minds and futures through the FEED Caravan initiative. We’re providing support to children throughout the summer. Young people can experience learning loss during the months when they are not engaged in educational activities. Education is an important factor in breaking the cycle of poverty.

“Together, we can be good neighbors by providing books to children in need,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “With Woodward Public Schools and a generous gift from the estate of Elizabeth Stevens, we can help those in our home state of Oklahoma.”

Summer Food and Fun in Oklahoma

More than 300,000 Oklahoma children do not have a stable source of nutrition during the summer months. Feed the Children is fighting to decrease that alarming number in its home state by participating in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. This program was designed to improve the nutrition and health of American children by offering them easier access to food and education in the summer, when schools (and therefore school lunch programs) are out of service.

Last year, the program provided more than 39,000 meals across different feeding sites throughout Oklahoma. In addition, Feed the Children was able to provide more than 267,000 take-home meals to children and their families through private funding and corporate donors.

“With the summer months approaching, we need to think of the children who will go without their school lunch programs,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., president and CEO of Feed the Children. “Through our Summer Food and Education Program, Feed the Children will help feed bodies, minds and futures as we continue our mission to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials.”

Feed the Children’s Summer Food and Education Program not only provides nourishing meals, but also feeds children’s minds. Knowing that education can help to break the poverty cycle, the organization incorporates education into the program, providing free books at each site. By the end of last summer, more than 16,000 books were distributed. Children in the program also received school supplies and backpacks. Additionally, feeding sites received sports equipment to engage children in healthy sports and recreational activities. For more information and a list of sites, click here.

The FEED Caravan is Coming to Town

OU Athletics, Norman (Oklahoma) Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families teamed up with Feed the Children to lend a hand to Norman-area families last week. That’s when 400 families received food and essentials filling one Feed the Children semi-truck at the Lloyd Noble Center. Volunteers from OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools, the Center for Children and Families, and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting.

The event also included community organizations providing complimentary services and products to the families, including OKDHS, Arise Ministries, Variety Care, Choice Matters, Farmers Insurance, Moore Norman Technology Center, Cleveland County Health Department, ONIE, and free haircuts provided by Paul Mitchell students and instructors.

“We are honored to have partnered with OU Athletics, Norman Public Schools and the Center for Children and Families in the fight to end hunger here in our own backyard” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. In Norman alone, 18 percent of families live below the poverty line and are unsure of how they will provide their next meal.

“Each year, we see an increase in students who qualify for free and reduced lunch,” said Norman Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano. “We know summer months can be difficult for these children and struggling families, and we appreciate the resources Feed the Children and other community organizations have provided for families in our community.”

This event is part of Feed the Children’s FEED Caravan initiative. The FEED Caravan consists of Feed the Children semi-trucks traveling across the state providing food and books to children in need during the summer months. One in four children in Oklahoma face hunger, and the threat is even greater during the summer months when they do not have access to their school lunch programs. The FEED Caravan will give these children an opportunity to receive the essentials they deserve. Breaking the cycle of hunger gives children the chance to enjoy their summer like every child should.

Feed the Children Loves New York

Price Rite, in partnership with Feed the Children and ConAgra Foods, with support from Catholic Charities of Buffalo, are banding together to distribute food and essentials to 800 Cheektowaga-area families in need tomorrow. Each family, pre-identified based on need by Catholic Charities of Buffalo, will receive a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; a box of assorted Avon products; and books. Families will also receive an additional food donation from Price Rite including produce and a variety of shelf-stable items. Other community partners will be onsite to provide information and resources for social services and other programs available locally to families. Volunteers will be on-site to assist the effort.

Price Rite contributes approximately $400,000 annually to local food banks and food pantries to benefit local families in need within the communities it serves. Heading into the second year of its partnership with Feed the Children, Price Rite will host eight to 10 events with the charity organization during 2016, donating more than 40,000 pounds of food and other essentials per event as part of the program.

Through its network of agencies, Feed the Children distributed more than $344 million in food, essentials, educational supplies and medicine, impacting close to 9 million people in the U.S. and more than 4.9 million individuals internationally, for a total of 13.9 million individuals globally in fiscal year 2014.

Education for a Better Life in Nicaragua

Here in the United States, children everywhere are getting ready for the end of school and the upcoming summer vacation. In Nicaragua, however, the school year runs from February to November, which means school is in full swing. And Feed the Children is there to support and encourage these young people and help ensure their success.

Eleven-year-old Aslin is one of these students. She lives in a rural community with just a hundred other families. The village is so remote it’s only accessible by a bus that runs once a day. Most people walk where they need to go.

There’s very little economic opportunity in Aslin’s community. As a result, some one in five adults immigrate to other countries, such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and as far away as Spain, looking for work. Aslin lives with her maternal grandparents while her parents earn money in Costa Rica that they send home to support her. Aslin’s mother works in housekeeping and her father works in maintenance. Since moving to Costa Rica, they have since had another daughter, which means Aslin is separated from a sister as well as her parents. “I feel sad because my parents are not with me,” Aslin says.

It’s a hard situation. Aslin misses her mom and dad. Her grandparents do the best they can, but there’s very little money. Her grandfather works in agriculture for meager wages. Aslin’s house is humble; it is made of adobe and pieces of corrugated steel sheets, with a tiled roof and dirt floor. They are fortunate to have electricity and potable water in the house.

The family’s diet is humble. Breakfast may consist of tortillas, beans, coffee, and eggs (if available). Lunch is rice, beans, cheese or eggs, and on rare occasions, chicken with tortilla. Dinner may be fried rice and beans (called gallopinto) with tortilla, cheese, and coffee. Sometimes the family just has beans with tortillas and cheese.

*12-2015 NI0015- AslinAslin is a sweet and happy girl. She helps at home by cleaning the house, washing the dishes, cooking, and watering the plants. When she was little, she suffered several common illnesses. But today she is very healthy, thanks in part to the support she’s received through Feed the Children’s the child sponsorship program. For the past several years, she’s received nourishing meals, a bookbag brimming with school supplies, and TOMS shoes twice a year through their giveaway program. She even receives a beloved toy every Christmas.

Aslin’s grandmother is grateful: “Feed the Children has provided so much to my granddaughter. She receives food that we lack sometimes. The school supplies are a great help, too—not just for her, but for everyone in the community who go through a tough situation.”

Aslin’s favorite subject is natural science. She would like to be a medical doctor when she grows up so she can help others children.

This is how the cycle of poverty is broken—through supporting children so they can grow into productive adults. With a little help and a little luck, Aslin can see her dreams become a reality.

You can be a hero to a child and his or her community. Make a difference through child sponsorship today.

A special thanks to Abdiel Navarrete for providing the content for today’s story.

News Roundup, May 23, 2016

Oklahoma City Dodgers Take a Swing at Hunger

The Oklahoma City Dodgers and The Salvation Army are stepping up to bat with Feed the Children and community organizations in the Oklahoma City area to help strike out hunger. On Wed., May 18, 400 families received food and essentials filling one Feed the Children semitruck at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. In Oklahoma City alone, nearly 17 percent of families live below the poverty line and are unsure of how they will provide their next meal.

Each pre-identified, participating family received a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of much-needed essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal-care items; and a box with assorted Avon products. Additional community organizations participated in the event by providing complimentary services and products to the families, including nutritional services provided by ONIE, financial literacy services provided by MidFirst Bank, career and family services, health screenings, and free haircuts provided by Fade N Up Barber Shop, Kompliments Hair Studio and Raylyn Taylor Salon.

13227726_10154147845423798_938997532661586256_oVolunteers from the OKC Dodgers, The Salvation Army and Feed the Children were on-site serving and assisting, as well as the OKC Dodgers President/General Manager, Michael Byrnes, The Salvation Army Associate Area Commander, Major Charlotte Gargis, and Feed the Children President and CEO, J.C. Watts, Jr.

“Feed the Children strives to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children President and CEO. “We are honored to partner with the OKC Dodgers and The Salvation Army in the fight to end hunger here in our own backyard.”

With this event the OKC Dodgers and The Salvation Army are helping kick off Feed the Children’s FEED Caravan initiative. The FEED Caravan consists of Feed the Children semitrucks traveling across the state providing food and books to children in need during the summer months. One in four children in Oklahoma faces hunger, and the threat is even greater during the summer months when they don’t have access to their school lunch programs. The FEED Caravan will give these children an opportunity to receive the essentials they deserve. Breaking the cycle of hunger gives children the chance to enjoy their summer like every child should.

One Day without Shoes

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 4.54.53 PMOn Tues., May 10, Feed the Children’s longtime partner, TOMS, set a goal to donate 100,000 new pairs of shoes to children in need. Feed the Children employees helped raise awareness by spending the day without shoes. One way Feed the Children employees were able to do this was by symbolically sponsoring a child and then writing the child’s name on their feet.

With each use of the hashtag #withoutshoes on Instagram May 10, TOMS planned to donate a new pair of shoes to children in 10 countries. Feed the Children employees used their personal social-media channels in an effort to get others to join in on the fun.

Each year, TOMS designates one day without shoes to raise awareness for children’s health and education across the globe. TOMS’s dream is that one day, all children will have shoes. Feed the Children has been teaming up with TOMS since 2011, providing hope and resources to those without life’s essentials.

Feed the Children Reaches Out Following Tornado

One of Feed the Children’s primary activities is to help areas affected by natural disasters, whether around the world or in our own backyard. Just recently we took part in a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Sulphur, Oklahoma following a tornado on May 9.

Capture1MARC events allow a variety of agencies to come together in a coordinated response to these disasters. This month’s event took place at the Crossway Baptist Church Recreation Center. Feed the Children contributed two pallets of disaster relief boxes, food and toiletries.

In Murray County alone, some fifty-five homes were destroyed, eleven sustained major damage, and seven others were affected in some way. Garvin, Johnston, Coal and several other counties also had reports of damage, but the bulk of the devastation took place in the Sulphur area. Other participating agencies included the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Methodist Disaster Response of Oklahoma, Catholic Charities, and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

Feed the Children distributed more than $344 million in food, essentials, educational supplies, and medicine, impacting close to 9 million individuals in the U.S. and more than 4.9 million individuals internationally, for a total of 13.9 million individuals globally in fiscal year 2014.

Massachusetts Families Receive Help and Hope

Price Rite joined Feed the Children, PepsiCo and the Revival Time Evangelical Center to lend a hand to families in Springfield, Massachusetts last week. Some 800 families received a variety of items at Price Rite of West Springfield, where two Feed the Children semi-trucks’ worth of food and essentials were distributed. In Springfield, nearly 15 percent of families live below the poverty line.

All participating families were pre-identified based on need by the Revival Time Evangelical Center. Each family received a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of much-needed essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal-care items; and a box with assorted Avon products. Families also received an additional food donation from Price Rite. Volunteers were on-site to help distribute the items to families.

The event is one of many Feed the Children has planned across the country to help feed bodies, minds and futures. “Price Rite is proud to join Feed the Children in its efforts to help local families in need,” said Jim Dorey, executive vice president for Price Rite. “As a food company, alleviating hunger and food insecurity in the communities served by our Price Rite stores has always been a focus of our charitable giving. By partnering with Feed the Children, we can help ease the stress on struggling families by supplying them with basic but important items for their homes.”

The supermarket chain contributes approximately $400,000 annually to local food banks and food pantries to benefit local families in need within the communities it serves. Heading into the second year of its partnership with Feed the Children, Price Rite will host eight to ten events with the charity organization during 2016, donating more than 40,000 pounds of food and other essentials per event as part of the program.

 

Education Breaks the Cycle of Poverty

Today we take you to a mountain region in the Philippines, where many of the people make ends meet through a combination of menial jobs and loans.

Eleven-year-old Cherry lives there with her family: four brothers; a father who does construction and drives a motorcycle for hire; and a mother who earns money by doing stone crushing, a grueling job but one that’s common for that region. The family lives in a small house with a simple roof and bamboo walls and flooring. They have electricity, but no running water, which means they need to buy bottled water—another expense. They have a latrine and a small vegetable garden.

8As the only girl, Cherry can’t use her brothers’ hand-me-down uniforms for school—she needs her own. Her resourceful mother alters the uniform to make it fit a growing girl for an entire year. And as hard as things are sometimes, Cherry’s mother is proud that she’s able to feed her kids each day. Meals are simple though: rice, vegetables and fish.

There are times when Cherry and her brothers have all had to share a single pencil for their schoolwork, often sharpened down to the nub. They do their work on the back of old papers and other scraps they can find.

But today, Cherry is a Feed the Children scholar at her school. That means she receives supplies, shoes, and encouragement to learn. And she’s a bright girl and diligent student. With a tear in her eye, she says she plans to graduate with honors and become a teacher so her mother never has to crush stones in the river again.

But Feed the Children provides more than just direct aid. We help train and empower parents to save money wisely so they can have a better future.

Like many families in this region who struggle to make ends meet, Cherry’s parents often took out shady loans from local loan sharks. The terms of these loans can often lead to an endless cycle of dependency and debt.

But Feed the Children has been working to end this cycle by creating local savings and loan programs, whereby members of a community come together to pool and save money and create loans that have lower interest rates.

Community people and parents are learning that you don’t have to have a bank book in order to have savings. They have the capacity to save, given the right guidance in managing financial resources. Many are realizing that they can secure their family’s future if they save.

You can be a part of this important work through your gift. To learn more about our work in the Philippines, click here.

A special thanks to Healey Jo S. Rosell for providing the content for today’s story.

 

 

Hunger in America: One Mom’s Struggle

When you’re a mom who struggles to provide for your children, every day is tough. Mother’s Day is no different.

Catherine and her husband have 3 kids to provide for, but with only a part-time job between them they depend on their local food pantry to put meals on the table (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

At certain times of the year, that’s not enough. Catherine says:

“It’s horrible to say we look forward to the kids going back to school so we don’t have to worry about getting them breakfast and lunch.”

But that’s reality for this family of 5.

During June, July and August food is really tight. To make sure the kids have something to eat, Catherine explains that she and her husband will skip meals.

“…that’s how we do it in the summertime; we will go without food for a couple of days.”

You can step in for a family like Catherine’s to help them through a difficult time.

You can provide food and essentials for a hurting family

You can help a mom like Catherine feed her children. Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for children like hers. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll fill the hungry tummies of kids like Latrice and her brothers, so they can have the energy to play outside this summer and not miss out on the joys of childhood.

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If Catherine’s story has moved you, please share it with others. Introduce them to this struggling mom and how they can help hungry children across America.