Hunger is harmful to any individual but it is particularly devastating to children due to increased vulnerability and the potential for long term consequences. There are some initiatives in Oklahoma to address this issue, but if 1 in 4 children are at risk of going to bed hungry every night, then it is obvious that more needs to be done.
The Oklahoma Afterschool Network has partnered up with State Department of Education, the Regional Food Bank, and the Afterschool Alliance to help expand federal nutrition programs to out-of-school-time activities. The role of OKAN is to create awareness and get out-of-school-time programs connected to available child nutrition resources.
The Afterschool Meal Program and the Summer Food Service Program provide federal reimbursement to out-of-school time programs to serve healthy meals. These meal programs feed hungry children, help afterschool and summer programs become more sustainable, and draw children into activities that are safe, enriching, and educational.