This week, Feed the Children delivered five semi-trucks full of non-perishable food, household essentials, books and toys for more than 2,000 families across Oklahoma as part of the organization’s annual No Hunger Holidays campaign.
However, this is just a small example of what Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, is doing to combat hunger this holiday season. 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.
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.
Rick, a father to three daughters, said there was a time where his family didn’t know where their next meal would come from. With the help of the Dream Center, one of Feed the Children’s community partners, Rick and his wife were able to provide food for their family and begin to return to a sense of normalcy.
“I'm trying to be the role model for my daughters and the staple in their lives. I hope they look to me as their dad and their superhero. I want to protect them and provide for them,” Rick said.
Now, when Rick’s family gathers for a meal, it’s an extra special time.
“Today dinnertime is a lot different, he said. “I sit down with my beautiful family, and we laugh and talk about the day's events and enjoy being with one another.”
Rick said it’s moments like these that he dreamt about even as a child and he’s doing everything he can to give his daughters the kind of life he’s always wanted.
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.
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.”
To learn how you can help create a hunger-free holiday season for children and their families, visit feedthechildren.org or follow them on social media.