A fundraiser to assist a program that has provided food for children for over 15 years is planned next Monday.
Food for Children operates in Okmulgee and provides a weekly bag of non-perishable food to children at Okmulgee Primary School who need assistance with provisions when they are not in school. Began by Holly Barris, the Food for Children or “Backpack Buddies” has given over 40,000 bags of food.
“For the last 15 years, we have been providing kid-friendly, non-perishable food to children in Okmulgee who have been identified by their teachers as needing food,” Barris stated. “We give the food sacks out the last school day of the week to help tie the kids over the weekend until they can return to school for breakfast Monday.”
The main focus is Okmulgee Primary School and Creek Village Apts.
“Currently, we are feeding 1/4 of the students at the Primary School,” Barris said. “At both sites, we average 170 each week.”
The cost per week is approximately $850, and all of the food provided is funded through donations.
Okmulgee Masonic Lodge No. 199 has been just one of the many supporters of the organization, and will be hosting a bean dinner to raise money for Food for Kids, and they will match donations.
The Benefit Bean Dinner for Food For Kids will be held Jan. 22, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Okmulgee’s First Baptist Church, 311 W. 5th (5th and Seminole). The cost is $7.
The sponsor for Food For Children is First Baptist Church also, so donations can be tax deductible.
According to Barris, if you are unable to attend the dinner, you can mail contributions to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 248, Okmulgee, OK 74447.
In late 2023, the Okmulgee Masonic Lodge presented a check to the program for $9,300, which helped for about 11 weeks.
A big thanks goes out to all the donors to the program and those who have volunteered to get the backpacks ready each week for distributions to the children.