Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, hit the road at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 as five semi-trucks depart the nonprofit’s Oklahoma City distribution center (29 N McCormick Ave.) full of non-perishable food, household essentials, books and toys. The items will be delivered to community partners in five cities in 24 hours and will be distributed to thousands of Oklahoma families as part of the organization’s annual No Hunger Holidays campaign.
This holiday season is especially stressful for families who are reeling from the economic effects caused by COVID-19. More than 340,000 Oklahomans recently reported their household didn’t have enough to eat. Nationwide, 5.6 million households with children have struggled to put enough food on the table in the past seven days.
Feed the Children is partnering with Prospect Church, 2809 N Missouri Ave., in northeast Oklahoma City to help families have a brighter holiday season. This area has been identified as a food desert – a community with disproportionately low income and limited access to a large grocery store – by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Additional community partners include the Tulsa Dream Center, Food on the Move, Genesis 12:2 in Muskogee and VFW Post 382 in El Reno.
Thanks to the support of corporate and community partners, every $1 given to Feed the Children is multiplied 7 times to help fill empty plates for families across the country. In November and December alone, the nonprofit delivered nearly 400 tons of food and essentials to community partners in Oklahoma and across the country, providing more than 1.2 million meals to struggling families.
Families attending distribution events will receive items such as:
- A 25-pound box of shelf-stable food such as canned vegetables, cereal, peanut butter, pasta and macaroni & cheese
- A 15-pound box of hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and deodorant
- Children’s books and toys
For parents like Erika, this has provided a lifeline to much needed food and essentials for her family.
She said that in recent months her work hours were cut drastically, and it became hard to provide for her children. It was especially difficult since it was impossible for her to get the meals that were provided at the schools for take-out because the only time they were available was during her work hours.
“I have made a can of corn stretch for three days,” she said. “It breaks my heart to not be able to give to my kids what they need.”
In addition to these community events, Feed the Children is supplying hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and essentials to its network of community partners in Oklahoma and across the U.S. – making sure shelves are stocked to meet the incoming need.
"We believe that no child should go to bed hungry, especially during a time full of warmth, love and sharing," said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children president and CEO. "But the reality is, millions of children face this hardship every day. Thanks to our generous partners, we are able to help these families rest a little easier knowing they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from this holiday season."