OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., Nov. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club and Feed the Children are partnering this holiday season to provide food, essentials, books and holiday joy to 150 Rancho Village Elementary School students and their families.

Feed the Children (PRNewsfoto/Feed the Children)

The six-week program Assisting Communities Together in Our Nation (A.C.T.I.O.N.) is a mentoring and tutoring program for students. As part of the initiative, students will gather each school day to receive shelf-stable meals and enjoy interactive visits from community leaders across OKC.

The program will kick off Monday, Nov. 5, as the non-profit organizations team up to provide food and essentials to 400 families at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – Asbury campus. During the event, each family will receive a 25-pound box of food such as canned vegetables, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese and a 15-pound box of essentials like personal-care items such as shampoo, razors and toothpaste and additional products.

On Nov. 8, Feed the Children will hold a reading night at Rancho Village Elementary where each child will be able to select up to three books to take home. The Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club will be on-site with their mobile health screening unit where participants can receive tests for glaucoma, diabetes, cholesterol, visual acuity, basic pulmonary (lung) function and high blood pressure.

«Our organization is excited to help brighten the holiday season of students at Rancho Village Elementary,» said Dale Swiggett, president, Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club. «We are looking forward to seeing the smiles on the faces of the children we are serving through this initiative. The Lions Club has a rich and deep history of taking an active interest in the moral welfare of the communities in which we serve and our partnership with Feed the Children is a wonderful example of this interest at work.»

In Oklahoma City, 17.8 percent of residents live below the poverty line and many of these families struggle with food insecurity. Unfortunately, this is a trend that stretches across Oklahoma with nearly one out of every six Oklahomans having incomes below the poverty level. Believing education is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, events like this one bring schools, nonprofits and business leaders together to help vulnerable families.

«The holidays can be a stressful time for families. We are excited to partner with Rancho Village Elementary and the Downtown Oklahoma City Lions Club to pilot our A.C.T.I.O.N. program,» said Clint McKnight, Feed the Children’s Director of Domestic Programming. «By involving both students and parents, we believe that the benefits of this initiative will have a lasting impact on the community.»

The A.C.T.I.O.N. program will culminate in December when students receive toys and food to take home for the holiday break. 

This is one of many events Feed the Children has planned during the holiday season to help defeat childhood hunger in Oklahoma and across the United States through its No Hunger Holidays campaign – transforming hunger into hope.

About Feed the Children

Established in 1979, Feed the Children exists to defeat childhood hunger. It is one of the leading U.S.-based charities and serves those in need in the U.S. and in 10 countries around the world. It provides food, education initiatives, essentials and disaster response. It operates five distribution centers located in Oklahoma, Indiana, California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

In fiscal year 2017, Feed the Children distributed 79.8 million pounds of food and essentials to children and families in the U.S. Internationally, it provided nutritious food or other benefits to 1,080,000 children, empowered 291,000 parents to make better decisions for their children, and positively impacted more than 1,200 communities and schools in 10 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is accredited by GuideStar Exchange and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Visit feedthechildren.org for more information.

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SOURCE Feed The Children, Inc.