Archive for the 'Kids Cafe' CategoryFebruary 16, 2016
On Monday, February 8th, after many months of planning, Second Harvest’s Kids Cafe Afterschool Supper Program began offering freshly prepared nutritious meals and snacks to children at 4 Orange County Parks and Recreation Centers.
Deliveries of supper style meals and snacks arrived at Capehart, Willow, Bithlo, and Barnett Park Recreation Centers. Three additional county sites, Silver Star, Lockhart and Orlo Vista are scheduled to start in early March.
Second Harvest Food Bank has been serving Kids Cafes since 1993, and currently sponsors 18 locations in three counties, reaching an average of 1,250 children daily. Since its inception, over 1.7 million meals have been served, over 33% of those in the last three years.
Meals and snacks attract children to after school programs where they can be safe, active, and engaged. The food provides energy and focus so that children can participate fully in enrichment activities offered at all centers.
The new sites will operate Monday through Fridays while school is in session and will continue to serve children year after year. Sustainability, the result of private and public support, as well as efficient meal production, will ensure that the program continues to benefit youth in our region for many years to come.
On Tuesday, November 17th, elementary school kids at Cypress Creek Elementary School tallied up over 1,000 cans of tuna they’d been collecting for Second Harvest Food Bank. The cans will find their way to our Kids Cafes just before Thanksgiving; helping close the nutritional gap that exists in our neediest communities.
The motivating force behind this yearly project is awareness raising among 4th and 5th graders who are members of the Kiwanis K-Club. One in four of their counterparts across Central Florida struggles with food insecurity. Standardized testing and heightened expectations for academic achievement have placed more demands on young students, making nutrition even more essential for success.
Over 70% of students in Orange County Schools qualify for free lunch, a figure that’s a reliable indicator of conditions at home. For example, a family of two adults and a child must make less than $716 a week (Gross Income) to receive free lunch benefits. With rent, transportation and health expenses, working families face difficult choices.
On Monday, October 19th, our community kitchen’s production line will begin to pump out freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced, and much improved afternoon meals for over 700 youngsters at 8 Orange, Osceola and Seminole locations.
The community kitchen honed its skills this past summer, serving up almost 117,000 meals for the Summer Food Service Program during 55operational days at 40 locations. Earlier this month, our production staff began working with Orange County Public Schools to provide lunches and snacks to 20 Head Start sites.
For years, Second Harvest has relied on outside prepared food providers to support its childhood hunger programs. Now, with the proven performance of our Community Kitchen, this function can be handled internally. More importantly, in-house food preparation allows for better control over menu planning, freshness, and temperatures.
Economic benefits also ripple into the local economy as workers are hired and raw product is sourced.
The Kids Cafe program reaches almost 2,000 children each and every day school is in session.
Since becoming a sponsor in 2002, Second Harvest has provided over 1.7 Million meals; over third of those since September 2012.
To see the location of our Kids Cafes, follow this link: Kids Cafes
To learn more about our Summer Food Program, follow this link: http://www.summerfoodflorida.org/September 21, 2015
The Kids Cafe Program operates during the entirety of the academic year, providing nutritious, five-component meals to children 18 or under at eligible centers in low income, at-risk communities.
In the last 3 years, our Kids Cafes have served 587,696 meals to approximately 1,300 children daily at 13 locations in 3 counties. Since the program began in 1998, more than 1.7 million meals have been served. The program has shown significant growth since 2013 and plans are underway to not only expand, but to continue improving our menus by adding more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Kids Cafes are closed during summer recess; that’s when our Summer Food Program seamlessly transitions to address the nutritional needs of kids who lack access to school cafeterias.