Fashion designer Johnathan Kayne still remembers designing a gown for Miss USA, establishing his studio in Norman and, of course, his 2006 stint on the hit reality television show "Project Runway."
Kayne also can remember watching his single mother go without so that the family could eat what little food they had. He credits the community of his native Tennessee with helping his family to survive those unforgettable times.
"If it wouldn't have been for several organizations such as churches and food pantries, we would have gone hungry," he said.
When the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma asked Kayne to join the organization's celebrity panel, it was a no-brainer " he wanted to be involved.
Since its establishment in 1980, the organization has helped feed families across the state. With humble beginnings of distributing 250,000 pounds of food annually, the organization now produces that same amount within three days.
Last year, more than 16 percent of Oklahomans lived in poverty. Nearly a quarter of those were children. To combat these figures, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma established its Food for Kids program.
To help, Kayne is showcasing some of his latest designs, as well as many custom pieces created exclusively for the food bank. The "Fashion for Food" show is 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Regional Food Bank, 3355 S. Purdue.
The event features two runway shows with designs modeled by local television figures like KWTV News 9's Lauren Nelson and Angie Mock from KOKH-TV Fox 25, and metro singer/songwriter Sherree Chamberlain. Kayne's new works incorporate accents of orange, the color of hunger awareness.
"I want people to recognize orange as the color of hunger the same way they know pink is for breast cancer," Kayne said. "I want people to be more aware of the issue of hunger, especially in our own state."
Tickets are $75-$100. For more information, call 972-1111 or visit www.regionalfoodbank.org. "Ta'Chelle Jones