In preparation for the start of another school year, ORIX Foundation volunteers gathered at the North Texas Food Bank to pack backpacks of nutritious food for the Food 4 Kids program.
Coppell resident Noboru Kawai, an ORIX USA executive vice president who also serves on the ORIX Foundation board of directors, came to the Food Bank to do his part with his colleagues. He said, “The Food Bank shared that suburban poverty across the nation is increasing at an alarming rate, and it’s double the rate of poverty in cities. It’s just hard to believe that so many children battle hunger, even in towns like Coppell.”
The Food 4 Kids program provides backpacks of non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly food for approximately 11,000 chronically hungry elementary school children to take home every Friday during the school year. Children on the free and reduced-price school meal program often face hunger when these meals are not readily available on weekends.
Kawai, who moved to Coppell from Japan, where ORIX’s parent company is based, brought his two daughters, Sumika and Haruka, and his son Keisuke along to volunteer at the Food Bank. “I think it was an invaluable experience for them to see and understand that children are suffering even in countries like the U.S. or our home country Japan. But they also saw that there are ways to make a real difference.”
ORIX Foundation has provided 36,000 Food 4 Kids backpacks through its grants to the Food Bank, which have totaled more than $210,000 over the past four years. Grants to the Food Bank have been made as a part of the organization’s charitable giving program, which is led by ORIX employees who volunteer their time to review applications, make site visits and make recommendations on funding to the foundation’s board.
Since it was founded in 2009, ORIX Foundation has committed more than $3.7 million to nonprofit organizations primarily in ORIX USA’s headquarters region of North Texas.
Founded and led by employees of Dallas-based financial services company ORIX USA, ORIX Foundation’s mission is to advance education, strengthen communities and improve lives. The organization is currently accepting grant applications through Oct. 4 from nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable populations, with priority given to children at risk. For more information, visit www.orixfoundation.org.
September is Hunger Action Month. To learn how you can get involved supporting North Texas Food Bank and programs like Food 4 Kids, visit www.ntfb.org.