On April 1st, a day commonly associated with foolishness, over 150 youngsters walked into the Westside Boys & Girls Club to find that our months old promise of after school meals was no joke.
This latest addition to our Kids Cafe program is located at 919 S. Persimmon Avenue, not far from historic Goldsboro. The after school haven is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the City of Sanford, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Seminole County Public Schools, The Department of Health’s Bureau of Child Nutrition, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Last month, our sister county to the south gained another Kids Cafe. Geographic balance was achieved by adding one to the north. The site is expected to serve approximately 33,000 meals during a full academic year.
Our Kids Cafes operate daily while school is in session; offering full suppers to children 19 or under at eligible after school centers in low income, at-risk communities.
Sheryl Jones at Seminole Public Schools and Nic Freeman of the Boys & Girls Club have been enthusiastic partners; actively working with us to gain approval from the State which regulates this USDA subsidized program.
Last October, Second Harvest Food Bank transitioned all Kids Cafes to the new Afterschool Meal Program (AMP) which provides healthier meal patterns and significantly larger portions. Milk is now served every day along with a full four component supper.
As with the Osceola site last month, staff and children showed their appreciation by creating a “Thank You” poster. We would like to reciprocate by thanking them for their effort and enthusiasm.
What many of us may take for granted can make a difference in a child’s day to day life. For less than half the price of a latte, these kids can get a bellyful of healthy food as they wait for their parents in a stimulating and supportive environment.
To see the location of our Kids Cafes, follow this link: SHFB Kids Cafes 2014
To learn more about the Child Care Food Program, follow this link: CACFP USDA FNS
Childhood Hunger Programs Manager