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Food Bank Partners With Local Organizations To Feed Hungry Kids

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In Oklahoma City alone, 90% of students are on free and reduced lunches, so when school stops, those children do not always have access to food during the day. In Oklahoma City alone, 90% of students are on free and reduced lunches, so when school stops, those children do not always have access to food during the day.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

With schools heading into winter break, thousands of kids across the metro are at risk of going hungry.

In Oklahoma City alone, 90% of students are on free and reduced lunches, so when school stops, those children do not always have access to food during the day. That has been where the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma steps in.

The Food Bank has partnered up with 10 sites in OKC to offer up lunches and snacks for children who need them. At the I Can Family Center in northwest Oklahoma City, there were only five children on Wednesday, but Frances Watts, who runs the program, knows dozens more will show up next week.

"We allow the children from the neighborhoods to come in at lunchtime and the afternoons so that they may have a meal and get some mentoring, some teaching and learn how to co-exist and mingle with their peers," explained Watts.

The children who come to the center on a regular basis notice a difference this time of year, too, as new faces begin to show up for lunch around Christmas.

"It's like sad for people not to have stuff so I think we should start giving people stuff," said one of the girls.

But these children do not judge the new kids. They have been taught time and again by Watts that helping others is essential, especially during the holiday season when so many families struggle to make ends meet.

Watts says many parents rely on the free and reduced lunch program during school and can't afford to buy extra food for their families, so partnering with the Regional Food Bank during school vacation is vital.

"The best part for me is the children saying thank you but also the parents coming in saying thank you for providing these resources to their families."

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has designated the following places where children 18 and under can get a free lunch and afternoon snack on weekdays running from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3, except for Christmas and New Year's Day:

Camp Village YMCA, located at 9401 Ridgeview, OKC 73120. Lunch is served at noon and a snack is served at 3 p.m.

Neighborhoods in Action, located at 1124 N. Douglas, Midwest City 73130.  Lunch is served at noon and a snack is served at 3 p.m.

Salvation Army B&GC, located at 2808 S.E. 44th, OKC 73101.  Lunch is served at noon and a snack is served at 2:30 p.m.

St Jude Missionary Baptist, located at 1001 N.W. 92nd, OKC 73114.  Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and a snack is served at 2:50 p.m.

McKinley Park, located at 1300 N. McKinley, OKC 73106.  Lunch is served at 1 p.m. and a snack is served at 3 p.m.

I Can Family Center, located at 3200 N.W. 48th St., OKC 73112.  Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and a snack is served at 3:15 p.m.

Downtown YMCA, located at 1 N.W. 4th St., OKC 73102.  Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and a snack is served at 3:30 p.m.

North Side YMCA, located at 10000 N. Penn, OKC 73120.  Lunch is served at 12 p.m. and a snack is served at 3 p.m.

Northwest Optimist, located at 3301 N.W. Grand Blvd, OKC 73116.  Lunch is served at 12 p.m. and a snack is served at 3 p.m.  This site is only open December 18 through 20.

Urban League, located at 3900 N. MLK Ave, OKC 73111.  Lunch is at noon and a snack is served at 3:30 p.m. This site is only open December 18 through 20.

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