April 19, 2017

Our Kids Cafe Story

Author: Santos Maldonado

Our organization quickly embraced America’s Second Harvest’s (what is now Feeding America) Kids Cafe Program soon after it was conceived in 1993. Since then, over 60 different locations in four counties have benefited from this prepared meal program.

  • Since 1993, over 2.2 million meals have been served.
  • 33% of those in the last 3 years.
  • From inception to 2015, prepared meals were purchased from an external vendor.
  • In October of 2015, our production kitchen began delivering cold meals.
  • In February of 2016, we partnered with Orange County Parks & Recreation to provide meals to their 12 after school centers!
  • In August of 2016, our kitchen began serving hot meals.
  • Last December, we opened up our first Kids Cafe in Brevard County.
  • Just last month, we opened up our second Brevard Kids Cafe.
  • Today, we serve over 1,400 kids each day at 27 different locations in 4 counties.View a Map of current sites.

From 1993 to 2012, we were only able to afford snacks and so we served those. They were gratefully received.

In 2013, after almost two years of trying, we secured expanded financial support from the USDA and as a consequence began offering full five-component meals with milk; a significant improvement in nutrition.

Last year, the Feeding America Network served over 14.5 million kids cafe meals to 155,000 children nationwide.

Last month, the Executive Branch’s Office of  Management and Budget, (OMB) released a proposal for a $1.2 billion budget cut from 21st Century after school centers as well as cuts to Meals on Wheels, a nationwide service that feeds poor seniors who often are often unable to leave their homes.  These actions, though not directly or imminently affecting the Kids Cafe Program, nationally known as the Child and Adult Care Food Program, strike an alarming tone that could be a harbinger of things to come.

Investing in our youngsters is the best strategy for societal well-being and a better future for all. We can all be agents of change by making our voices heard and helping raise awareness.

View a collage of some of our Kids Cafe locations below. Sifting through these images makes my heart swell with fond memories and reminds me how lucky I am to be have been able to be part of such a noble mission.

 

Santos Maldonado
Childhood Hunger Programs Manager

West Side Sanford Boys & Girls Flock To New Kids CafeApopka Boys & Girls Club Kids Cafe



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