At the Tulsa State Fair last month, 63 livestock were donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to help fight childhood hunger throughout the state.  The donations benefited the Oklahoma Food Bank’s Food for Kids and Pork for Packs programs.  The donations were made possible by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Pork Council, and FFA students from across the state.  In Comanche County, three livestock were donated to fight childhood hunger by members of the Cyril FFA Chapter.

The donated livestock will be turned into pork sticks that are used as a valuable source of protein in the Food for Kids Backpack Program.  Through the Backpack Program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food on Friday to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.  Statewide, more than 25,000 chronically hungry elementary school children rely on this program to provide them with food over weekends and school holidays. In Comanche County alone, 1099 students in 32 schools participated in this program.

“Pork for Packs and Beef for Backpacks provide protein to chronically hungry children who benefit from Food for Kids,” said Monica Wilke, executive director, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies. “The program uses donated livestock to produce nutritious beef or pork sticks.”

Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs are a collaboration among the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Beef Council, Oklahoma State University Food and Agricultural Products Center, the Pork Council, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Ralph’s Meat Company and Chickasha Meats.

The Oklahoma Food Banks need livestock donations annually to provide enough beef/pork sticks for its Food for Kids Backpack Program. Livestock donations are deductible as a charitable donation to a 501(C)3 corporation, pursuant to IRS guidelines. Livestock donation receipt amounts will be based USDA daily market price. A Livestock Owner/Donor Certificate must be completed to receive donation receipt. For more information on how to donate, contact Thad Doye by phone at 405.523.2307 or by email at thad.doye@okfb.org.

Last fiscal year, the Oklahoma Food Banks distributed 71.5 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,700 charitable feeding programs and schools in Oklahoma.