The following story is based on a telephone interview with Cassandra Williams at the Pine Hills Community Church, the site of one of our Kids Cafes.
A child was walking from school toward the Pine Hills Church Kids Café, when another youngster approached him.
“Where you going”, asked the child.
“To the church”, replied the other.
“Can I go too?”
“Sure, they don’t mind”
Once at the church, the children were served an after school meal and then participated in the many activities the community center has to offer.
The new child returned home that afternoon and told his mother all about the Kids Café. The next day, both the mom and the child showed up.
The mom was told she would not be able to receive a prepared meal since Kids Cafes are for kids only, but since she was already there and had expressed need, she would be provided with groceries from their food pantry which is stocked with products from Second Harvest Food Bank.
As time went by, the mom began to accompany her son to the church every afternoon. The child would get his usual meal and mom would sit by his side, having brought her own meal prepared from the pantry products she had received. Afterwards, they would linger over homework, reading improvement activities and much more.
The site supervisor tells us that the Kids Café acted as a magnet, bringing mother and child closer together. “This same story has played out on several occasions”, she commented.
“The parents are learning from their children, and as a consequence the family grows stronger.”
Childhood Hunger Programs Manager