MADILL, OK – Hundreds of area families received holiday care thanks to a cooperative effort by the Chickasaw Nation and Feed the Children. The packages were distributed to an estimated 800 Marshall County families during the drive-thru event.
Participants received a 25-pound box of shelf-stable food, a 10-pound box of daily essentials, such as shampoo and personal care items, as well as toys and children’s books. In addition, boxed meals from the Chickasaw Nation Impa’Chi program were provided to children who attended the event.
The Marshall County event was one of several No Hunger Holidays events conducted nationwide by Feed the Children in November and December. This is the eighth year the Chickasaw Nation and Feed the Children have partnered for No Hunger Holidays. Previous events took place in Ada, Ardmore, Kingston, Newcastle, Pauls Valley, Sulphur and Tishomingo.
“It is only through partnership that we can reach at-risk families during the holiday season,” said Travis Arnold, President and CEO of Feed the Children. “No child should go without, and Feed the Children is thankful for our partnerships that can help ease the burden many families are facing.”
The No Hunger Holidays initiative is designed to help children and families during the holidays, as well as bring awareness to the important issue of childhood hunger. One in five Oklahoma children face food insecurity, and more than 21% of Madill residents live below the poverty line, according to Sandra Leaver, Feed the Children director of corporate partnerships.
“It’s our duty, not just as an organization, but as a community, to rise up and help those in need,” said Leaver.
The food distribution event with Feed the Children provides the Chickasaw Nation an opportunity to help fulfill and expand the mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people.
“The Chickasaw Nation’s collaboration with Feed the Children helps demonstrate how our mission extends to enhance the lives of our neighbors,” said Joy Standridge, Chickasaw Nation Child Nutrition Programs Director. “We hope offering these gifts to our Chickasaw families and neighbors will brighten their holiday season. We are pleased to once again work with Feed the Children to help serve Oklahoma families.”
Dozens of volunteers worked to unload the large Feed the Children tractor-trailer, greet participants, load packages and direct the hundreds of vehicles during the event.