Meet Our Kids Cafe Partners

Second Harvest recently concluded another year of our Kids Cafe program. Did you know that our Kids Cafe program is a partnership?

Second Harvest provides the food, funding and training for the cafe sites (with the support from corporations, foundations and the State of Florida’s Child Care Food program). Our Kids Cafe partners provide the venue and preparation/serving of meals to children. We are proud to say that our Kids Cafe partners consists of dedicated individuals who are on the front lines providing meals and snacks to children in our community.

I just wanted to take a moment to introduce you to our amazing partners.

Gloria Hill at Lake Mann Kids Cafe, is a truly dedicated woman who creates a warm environment for the housing project’s children. This site always has someone preparing a meal as kids arrive. She creates the feeling of a second home to these kids. Gloria and her helpers are what it’s all about.

Brenda Knight at the Midway Kids Cafe has transformed the facility. She has an endless reserve of energy and innovation. She was key in hosting the Chelsea Clinton event earlier this year for Second Harvest. Midway is a beacon of hope in that area of Sanford.

Jose Bastias at Disney’s Clubhouse Kids Cafe has always been enthusiastic and endlessly exploring new ways to reach the Pine Hills community.

Sarah Pylants at Restore Orlando Kids Cafe is simply awesome. She hovers over the kids as if they were her own.

Joe Caesar and Mae Davis at Callahan Kids Cafe are always ready for anything. Joe has been with Parks and Recreation for a while now and is a pleasure to work with. Mae is cordial, professional and always in a good mood.

Betty McKinney oversees Universal Boys and Girls Club as if every single member were part of her family. Betty McKinney IS Universal Boys and Girls Club!

Sebrenia Brown at Maxey Kids Cafe is an extremely easy going and a very special lady. She is a  woman of incredible internal fortitude.

Austin Long at Eatonville Boys & Girls Club worked patiently and closely with us this past year after we added their site. They are serving almost 3,000 meals per month at the Denton Johnson Center adjacent to the club. But it’s not about numbers or competition here. It’s about the efficiency of the staff and the way they  bring the children over in groups. We are very pleased with Eatonville.

Amy Meers and Nick Price at Oak Street Kids Cafe in Kissimmee offer so much more than an afterschool center. I was talking to Amy yesterday and she tells me they have taken their kids out to Tampa to visit the zoo.

Krista Gray and the ever dependable Amanda run the Reeves Terrace site. Amanda is conscientious and reliable. Reeves Terrace is tucked into a very nice park at the end of the street off the east west expressway.

Elizabeth Williams at the Chambers Park site always gives a personal touch to those she serves.

Shadrick Alexander and Anna Dieuveuil at Taft Kids Cafe are true professionals. Both “Shaggy” and Anna run a tight ship. The club is a great place for kids.

Our last site is West Orange Boys & Girls Club run by Melody Jackson and Jarondah Hill. West Orange has averaged over 600 meals per month and serves approximately 40 children on a daily basis. This site complements Maxey Community Center since they are both located in Winter Garden, yet draw their children from different communities and schools.

Lastly, I would like to introduce Patricia Suarez, our Childhood Hunger Coordinator. I could not manage all our kids programs without her help. Patti celebrated her first anniversary with Second Harvest this past March.

To see the location of the thirteen Kids Cafes click here

Santos Maldonado
Childhood Hunger Programs Manager

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