14 sites provide lunches for Oklahoma City kids during break

Fourteen sites provide brown bag lunches from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma during two-week fall break for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
by Bryan Painter Modified: October 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm •  Published: October 20, 2012
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The child with glasses took the brown bag lunch in hand and began twisting the top to make a handle of sorts.

Led and followed by staff members of the North Side YMCA, he and about 60 other children walked to a nearby park around noon on a sunny, mild October day.

The boy in the bright red shirt sat down on a bench under a big tree. He untwisted the top of the sack, reached in and pulled out his sandwich.

On this day he was among the 14 children receiving a brown bag lunch provided by the Regional Food of Oklahoma during the first of two weeks of fall break for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Through the program, 14 sites provide lunches to anyone age 18 or younger weekdays through next Friday.

Students already enrolled in the Food for Kids Backpack Program were to receive an extra sack of food on the last day before the fall break, according to the Regional Food Bank. Through the backpack program, children receive a backpack of child-friendly, nonperishable and nutritious food each Friday.

This is the first year for fall break sites, said Angie Gaines, spokeswoman for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. It will be the second year for spring break and Christmas break sites.

These sites are a response to the Oklahoma City Public Schools' expanded school calendar with longer fall and spring breaks and an abbreviated summer break. Overall, the district is in its second year of this schedule, which includes a two-week fall break.

Since about 90 percent of Oklahoma City Public Schools students receive free or reduced-price lunches, that means they are most likely missing out on those meals when school is not in session, Gaines said.

“So we created a way to fill in that gap and provide that nutrition for hungry children,” she said.

Response is good

The Regional Food Bank asked the North Side YMCA, 10000 N Pennsylvania, to begin participating in the program last spring. The response was good. So they tried it in the summer and provided meals to 50 to 60 children each day during the week.

For families on the tightest budgets, it provides a way to feed their children while school is not in session. For others, the situation also is tight. Regardless, the children are getting good food, said Katie Baker, the North Side YMCA site coordinator for youth and families.

“It gives me a good feeling to know that they are eating a nutritious meal, that they're not going home hungry, they've gotten something to eat in their system that day,” Baker said. “Because when they go home for dinner they might not get something to eat that day.”

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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TO LEARN MORE

14 sites offer lunches

The sites are open to anyone age 18 or younger weekdays through Oct. 26, according to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Southern Oaks Recreation Center, 400 SW 6, serves lunch at noon and snacks at 3 p.m.

Sellers Recreation Center, 8301 S Villa, serves lunch at 12:30 p.m. and snacks at 4:30 p.m.

Pitts Recreation Center, 1920 N Kate, serves lunch at 1 p.m. and snacks at 3 p.m.

Pilot Recreation Center, 1435 NW 2, serves lunch at 1 p.m. and snacks at 3 p.m.

Melrose Recreation Center, 7800 Melrose Lane, serves lunch at 1:30 p.m. and snacks at 4:30 p.m.

Schilling Recreation Center, 601 SE 25, serves lunch at noon and snacks at 3 p.m.

Macklanburg Recreation Center, 2234 NW 117, serves lunch at 1:30 p.m. and snacks at 3:30 p.m.

Minnis Recreation Center, 12520 NE 36, serves lunch at noon and snacks at 2 p.m.

Douglass Recreation Center, 900 Carverdale, serves lunch at 12:30 p.m. and snacks at 4 p.m.

McKinley Park, 1300 N McKinley, serves lunch at 1 p.m. and snacks at 4 p.m.

Urban League, 3900 Martin Luther King Ave., serves lunch at noon and snacks at 4 p.m.

Downtown YMCA, 1 NW 4, serves lunch at 11:30 a.m. and snacks at 3:30 p.m.

North Side YMCA, 10000 N Pennsylvania, serves lunch at noon and snacks at 3:30 p.m.

Britton Christian Church, 922 NW 91, serves lunch at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, call 972-1111 or go to regionalfoodbank.org.

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