Food 4 Kids file art

Auctioneer Gary Criswell get the the bids during the live auction during a previous Food 4 Kids auction.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Food 4 Kids Program helps make sure children with food insecurity have food over the weekend. Selected by school staff, a child is given a backpack with food.

Understanding that one in four children in the state has inconsistent access to food, several partners stepped up to help the Regional Food Bank.

The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, Lezlie and David Hudiburg, David Gorham, 7-Eleven Stores and an anonymous donor have issued a matching gift challenge.

From now until Sept. 30, every donation made to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Food for Kids Programs will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $180,000.

John Logan, Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma executive director, said they were committing to help children access food.

“The Food for Kids Match allows our lodges to make a meaningful contribution to the benefit of children across our state,” he said.

Which is great news for Stephens County as the Food 4 Kids auction is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

Duncan Chamber of Commence hosts the annual event to help raise money for the local backpack program and also the food pantries at the middle and high school levels.

There is still time to help with the auction according to this year’s event committee chair Nicole Punneo.

The event is a dinner with a silent auction and a live auction. This is where the committee needs the public to donate items to use for the auctions.

“The whole goal is to raise money to feed children in our area,” she said. “It’s not just for Duncan Public Schools, it’s actually for all the schools in Stephens County that we try to support. There was one year where we got quite a bit of matching grants and were able to fund the backpack program for all schools in the county.”

These matching funds have been used in the past to double or even triple the funds raised at the auction.

The theme for this year is “Legos: building our future.”

“We have a great committee. These people do so much behind the scenes that no one even knows about,” Punneo said. “I’m really lucky to have the committee that does this and Sandy Stewart and Chris Deal at the chamber are just rockstars.”

To donate items or money contact the Chamber. Items can be dropped off at the chamber office and if it needs to be picked up, a committee member will get in contact. All donations are tax deductible.

Tickets are sold through the chamber and are $50 a piece. There are also sponsorships; $300 for a table of eight and fills a backpack for half a year or $400 for a table of eight and fills a backpack for a full year.