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Youth News


Oklahoma FFA Hunger Challenge Provides a Priceless Gift to Hungry Oklahoma Kids- Providing Protein Meat Sticks for Backpacks for Kids Program

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:02:00 CDT

Oklahoma FFA Hunger Challenge Provides a Priceless Gift to Hungry Oklahoma Kids- Providing Protein Meat Sticks for Backpacks for Kids Program Oklahoma FFA members donated 511 animals between May 1, 2015, and April 1, 2016, to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

Members of 205 FFA chapters donated the animals or cash as part of the FFA Hunger Challenge presented by the 2015-16 Oklahoma FFA Association officer team. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma made 764,702 protein sticks from the animals donated, an increase of 247,702 protein sticks compared with last year. Additionally, chapters donated $4,868.50, which was matched by the Oklahoma Beef Council for a total of $9,737.00. These funds will provide 48,686 meals for neighbors in need of food. Of the match by the Oklahoma Beef Council, OBC Chairman Tom Fanning of Buffalo Feeders called the decision to help both the FFA in their Hunger Challenge and to support the Foods Banks "an easy one" with their donation that will provide meals to thousands of Oklahoma residents.

On the second day of the 2016 Oklahoma FFA Convention this week, those 205 Chapters were honored by the Food Banks with a special recognition- and just ahead of that ceremony, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Lisa Perry, the Director of Giving for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma about the challenge and what she called "the priceless gift provided by FFA students to hungry children across Oklahoma." Click on the Listen Bar below to hear their conversation about the efforts of FFA to be a blessing within the state of Oklahoma.

“These animals have an intended purpose to feed the world, and we are able to use them to feed people who otherwise might not have a good meal,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, Oklahoma Pork Council executive director. “I can’t say enough about how proud I am of our kids, that they see a need for helping others and take the initiative to do it themselves.”

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma provides food for weekends and school holidays to 29,000 chronically hungry Oklahoma elementary school children through “backpack programs.” Each backpack of food contains a beef or pork protein stick every other week.

In one year, the food banks give 370,000 protein sticks to children. Each pound of meat makes about eight protein sticks. A 280-pound live hog produces 182 pounds of meat, or 1,456 sticks. A 1,300-pound steer produces 806 pounds of meat, or 6,448 sticks.

“Throughout the past few years, the program has had a great partnership with FFA and 4-H,” said Amanda Rosholt, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation director. “We are all excited about the success this program has had and are excited for the future and believe we will continue to make an impact on Oklahomans’ lives.”

The Merritt FFA Chapter in southwest Oklahoma donated 18 animals, the most from any chapter. Additionally, this year students could add monetary donations and multiple chapters donated several hundred dollars to support the program.

“Of all the things do, all the lessons we teach our kids, giving back to the less fortunate might be the most important,” Lindsey said. “The food banks here in Oklahoma have a sterling reputation for what they do regarding the people that they help. Any organization that works with them walks away and asks, ‘How can I do that again?’”


   
Ron Hays talks with Lisa Perry of the Regional Food Bank about the FFA Hunger Challenge

right-click to download mp3    


Ron Hays talks with Lisa Perry of the Regional Food Bank about the FFA Hunger Challenge
right-click to download mp3    

Ron Hays talks with Lisa Perry of the Regional Food Bank about the FFA Hunger Challenge
right-click to download mp3

 

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