Since the year 2000, Oklahoma City and Bricktown have emerged as growing, thriving areas for Oklahomans to visit and love. In the years prior, the original Metropolitan Area Projects Initiative (MAPS) was approved by citizens to impose a temporary one-cent sales tax for 5 years to build a new ballpark and a canal that would run through the historic Bricktown district, along with other projects. The project collected $309 million and added another $54 million in interest. Its approval in 1993 forever changed how Oklahoma City’s downtown and entertainment districts would be perceived.
Enter Mickey Mantle’s
One year after the opening of the Bricktown Canal, in 1998, the Bricktown Ballpark opened. The year 2000 saw many new beginnings in Bricktown including the opening of Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. When the restaurant opened 15 years ago, it introduced the concept of a high-end steakhouse to Oklahoma City’s downtown at large for the first time. In the early 2000s, there were not many restaurant options, but Mickey’s sparked a change in the city’s landscape. When hotels started to open in the area, Mickey Mantle’s had to evolve. “In the past we saw a lot of business clientele during the week and then we got locals during the weekend,” Bryan Jackson, general manager of Mickey Mantle’s, said. “Now we see just as many locals as business travelers throughout the week.”
Bricktown is rich with history, full of beauty, and now alive with constant activity. It’s Oklahoma City’s premier downtown destination for sports, fine dining, and nightlife. Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse is incredibly proud of Oklahoma City and Bricktown and is excited to be a part of the continued growth with this great city.
This month, Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse celebrates its 15th year in the heart of Bricktown. Having seen so many improvements to the area and watching new businesses open, creating new opportunities to Oklahoma City residents, travelers and tourists alike, Mickey Mantle’s is proud to have been here from the beginning of its resurgence. In honor of the 15th year anniversary at Mickey’s, we’re partnering with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to give back to this city and state. For every featured dish purchase, Mickey Mantle’s will donate $3 from the sale to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Program. There are choices from appetizer to dessert, giving you plenty of opportunity to make an impact. Every $3 donated will provide 15 meals to chronically hungry children in Oklahoma.
Food for Kids Program
Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse is excited to partner with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in order to continue helping the high percentage of chronically hungry children. More than 37 percent of the Regional Food Bank’s emergency food recipients are children and in 2014, more than 41,000 children received in excess of 2.7 million meals through the Food for Kids programs. Going without food can cause behavioral and psychological effects such as depression, aggression, anxiety and poor social skills in children. Food is the most essential school supply because hungry children cannot learn. The Regional Food Bank offers four programs in its Childhood Hunger Initiative: Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding and School Pantries.
“Many children come to school hungry,” shared a Backpack program coordinator. “Mondays are terrible for these children; they are starving when they come in for breakfast. We were so excited to learn about the Backpack program. It has been a tremendous asset for our school and students.”
The Regional Food Bank delivers pre-assembled food sacks and backpacks to participating schools at no cost to the school or the child. The food bags contain approximately 10 different purchased foods designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry children over the weekend. These are kid-friendly, shelf-stable foods that require no preparation or refrigeration. Children can just “open and eat” without any adult supervision. A $200 donation provides a backpack of food for one child for an entire school year.
An afterschool and summer program, Kids Cafe provides food, mentoring, tutoring, and a variety of other activities to approximately 2,600 at-risk children at 25 Kids Cafe and 10 afterschool snack sites in central and western Oklahoma. In fiscal year 2014, Kids Cafe sites collectively served 92,593 snacks and 118,241 meals.
For thousands of children, the end of school means months of wondering whether or not they will have enough food to eat. Thanks to support from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Oklahoma Department of Education and the community, children under 18 can receive nutritious meals and/or snacks through the Regional Food Bank’s Summer Feeding program at select locations weekdays from June 1 through July 31.
Since the program began in 2002, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), through a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Oklahoma Department of Education. During the summer of 2014, the program served more than 4,000 children in 48 urban and 17 rural sites in central and western Oklahoma.
“One of our students had been failing in most of his classes so a meeting with the mother was scheduled,” shared one coordinator. “During the meeting, we discovered that the mother is a single mom with four children and working two jobs. The principal referred the student to our School Food Pantry. It has made a huge difference in the student’s demeanor and grades are starting to improve.”
Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the largest private domestic hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed 49.9 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,200 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. For more information visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405.972.1111.