Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger by distributing food, daily essentials and resources for teachers and students, has taken its Teacher Store on the road to deliver supplies to 10 cities in 24 hours. Early morning Tues., Sept. 8, five Feed the Children semi-trucks pulled out of its Oklahoma City warehouse to crisscross the state as each truck drops off the critical supplies needed for the new school year.
The nonprofit is working in collaboration with school district representatives from Putnam City Schools, El Reno Public Schools, Ponca City Public Schools, Ada Public Schools, Enid Public Schools, Lawton Public Schools, Pauls Valley Public Schools, Elk City Public Schools, Duncan Public Schools and Hinton Public Schools to deliver to students through various methods such as drive-thru pickups and home deliveries. Mayfield Middle School kicked off its distribution to parents on Tues., Sept. 8 with a mid-morning opportunity for parents to pick up products as well as boxed lunches for their children who are participating in virtual learning.
“We are excited to take our Teacher Store on the road to reach as many pre-K through 12th grade students as possible,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children president and CEO. “While our Teacher Store will resume regular operation later this fall, albeit with limited capacity and additional safety measures, I felt it was important to serve Oklahoma’s teachers and students and provide some support during this uncertain back-to-school season.”
Families attending the Mayfield Middle School event and other school distributions 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
· An assortment of school supplies such as writing utensils, notebooks, markers, rulers, glue and folders
· Children’s books
“It means a lot for us to work with Feed the Children to give these supplies to our students who need it most,” said Ben Hodges, principal of Mayfield Middle School. “Our students well-being and their access to important school supplies are our number one priority. Through our partnership with Feed the Children, we can relieve some of the anxiety our teachers and students are feeling about our new normal.”
Feed the Children’s Oklahoma Teacher Store location was created as a resource for educators in 2012, providing classroom resources, school supplies, books and even snacks at absolutely no cost to teachers. With more than 473,000 Oklahoma children eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch (approximately 70% of children in participating schools), many parents are struggling to pay for school supplies, especially with the devastating economic downturn caused by the pandemic. This leaves teachers with the heavy burden of reaching even deeper into their own pockets to purchase the basic items necessary for learning, spending nearly $5001 of their own money to cover those expenses. The items provided aim to reduce the heavy cost for educators and parents.
Following current CDC recommendations on large gatherings and social distancing, Feed the Children’s Oklahoma City Teacher Store has postponed its reopening to after Labor Day. Upon reopening, the store will institute new safety and sanitation procedures to ensure all patrons feel comfortable as they shop. For more information about Feed the Children’s Oklahoma Teacher Store, visit its website or its Facebook page.