Oklahoma FCCLA Fights Hunger, Feeds Hope
More than 675,000 Oklahomans – including one-in-four children – are at risk of hunger every day.
The National Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization has partnered with Share Our Strength to raise funds and awareness to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. FCCLA is the CareerTech Student Organization affiliated with Family and Consumer Sciences Education.
Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit organization, is working to end childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy active lives.
“Oklahoma FCCLA was asked to connect with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on this project to support the national project, Share Our Strength,” said Denise Morris, state FCCLA adviser.
Through its No Kid Hungry Campaign, Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs. They also invest in community organizations and teach families how to cook healthy, affordable meals while building public-private partnerships to end hunger, nationally and at the state and city level, according to their website.
During the 2011–12 school year, FCCLA chapters from across the state sent 593 volunteers to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. These volunteers donated 1,557 hours of service time preparing 159,820 pounds of food for schools and charitable organizations in 53 Oklahoma counties. That is enough food for more than 122,938 meals.
“Community service is such a big part of FCCLA work,” Morris said. “This is a perfect project where the students can see an immediate impact.”
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributes enough food to feed more than 90,000 people each week through 825 charitable feeding programs and elementary schools. Since it began in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 460 million pounds of food and product. During the 2010–11 school year nearly 10,000 chronically hungry children in 374 elementary schools across 49 central and western Oklahoma counties were served. Volunteers saved more than $2 million in labor costs.
“Volunteers help with a variety of projects,” said Denice Hurlbut, volunteer retention coordinator at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Projects include breaking down and repackaging such items as frozen spinach, bagging rice and sorting produce.
Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers, and communities by addressing important personal, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education.
FCCLA is one of seven CareerTech student organizations affiliated with CareerTech programs. The other six include FFA and Agricultural Education, DECA and Marketing Education, HOSA and Health Careers Education, Business Professionals of America and Business and Information Technology Education, Technology Students Association and Technology Engineering, and SkillsUSA and Trade and Industrial Education.
For more information about CareerTech Education and FCCLA visit http://www.okcareertech.org
For more information about FCCLA’s partnership with Share Our Strength, visit http://www.strength.org/get_involved/fccla_and_no_kid_hungry/.
For more information about the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org/.
By Kylie Fanning, Intern
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Communications and Marketing