Behind the scenes of the Oklahoma Youth Expo this week is an exhibition of a different kind: the generosity of youths donating their animals to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The donated animals are actually being handled by Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation, which processes the animals through the foundation’s Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs programs.
The Beef for Backpacks and Pork for Packs programs use donated cattle and hogs to produce beef and pork sticks for the Food Banks’ Food for Kids program. Together, the two food banks provide backpacks with non-perishable, kid-friendly food to students in 596 schools across all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.
So far this week, 179 animals, mostly pigs, have been donated by students participating in OYE.
“The generosity of these young people is incredible,” said Amanda Rosholt, director of fundraising and public relations for the foundation.
Rosholt credited Thad Doye, manager of OKFB’s crop insurance program and a longtime supporter of the foundation, for transporting the donated animals.
“He has donated countless hours to the loading and hauling of these animals and we are extremely appreciative of his efforts,” Rosholt said.
“Donations to the foundation allow us to help Oklahomans through our projects now and in the future,” Rosholt said.
For more information, contact Rosholt at (405) 202-1463, or Amanda.Rosholt@aggiving.org.