A Project of Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, a Second Harvest
Food Bank in collaboration with Children’s Action Network
500,000 hungry children live in the Los Angeles area. These children
are unable to obtain enough food to meet their basic nutritional
needs. These children are at risk of chronic illness and diminished
intellectual and physical growth and lower productivity. One balanced
meal a day can provide up to one half of a child’s nutritional
intake, thereby having a significant impact on their physical and
As more families need food assistance, we must extend beyond traditional
feeding programs for the hungry and make meals available to disadvantaged
children in an environment that is safe and accessible.
Kids Cafe™ is a program to provide hot meals for children
and youth in a nurturing and stable environment. In addition to
providing food, this program assures young people that caring volunteers
are concerned with their well-being and development. Since 1989,
more than 100 Kids Cafes™ have been started in cities across
the country with the backing of Second Harvest.
In response to the growing number of children living in poverty
in the Los Angeles area, CAN and the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank
launched our first Kids Cafe™ in November 1996. Mar Vista
Family Center, a community-based organization that offers services
to families and youth, was the site for the first Kids Cafe™.
In November 1997 we opened our second Kids Cafe™ at the Boys
& Girls Club of Venice. Currently we operate a Kids Cafe™
at Westminster Avenue Elementary School in partnership with LA’s
BEST and the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank and sponsored by Sony
Pictures Entertainment. To date, the Kids Cafes™ have served
more than 80,000 meals to hungry children.
An on-site coordinator works with volunteers to cook and prepare
the meals. Food for the Kids Cafe™ is primarily provided by
the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, as well as local restaurants
and businesses. Domino’s Pizza, Bandera Restaurant, Koo Koo
Roo, and Pizza Hut have donated food items and meals to the Kids
In addition to providing meals, the Kids Cafe™ is a bridge
to tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment activities. At the Westminster
Kids Cafe™ we offer a monthly reading program to promote literacy
and enhance the children’s love of reading.
Kids Cafe™ is a program of the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank,
a Second Harvest Food Bank, in partnership with Children’s