Backpacks Keep Local Students' Bellies Full On Snow Days

Tuesday, February 8th 2011, 3:11 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As metro residents stock their shelves with food for the second round of winter weather, some local students will go home tonight to little or no food.

To prevent students from going hungry when they're not in school, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is sending students home with backpacks full of food for the snow days.

The Food 4 Kids program began in 2003 and has served thousands of students across the state. The backpacks typically go home with children on Fridays, so they have meals for the weekend. The backpacks are filled with four meals; two breakfast-type meals and two dinners, in addition to peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, milk and juice.

Coordinators at metro schools identify students who are in need of food for the weekends.

Katherine Stehno, a teacher at Prairie Queen Elementary in Oklahoma City, said some without the backpacks, some students have to beg for food.

"Some of our children have had to go to 7-11 on the weekends and ask people for food and money. That is how desperate some children get on the weekends."