KIDS CAFE™

A Project of Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, a Second Harvest Food Bank in collaboration with Children’s Action Network

WHAT IS THE NEED?

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 cognitive development.

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.

WHAT IS KIDS CAFE™?

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 Cafes™.

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 Action Network.