The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank implements the Kids Cafe program at 27 sites in Los Angeles County and serves approximately 1,900 children each day. The Kids Cafe program addresses the needs for both proper nutrition and quality day and after school care in low-income communities. At each Kids Cafe site, healthy meals and snacks are served to needy children in a safe, nurturing environment. Children in Kids Cafe also often receive tutoring assistance, participate in sports, and benefit from mentoring. The Nutrition Director at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank works closely with participating agencies such as after school programs, day care centers, community centers and youth centers to insure that children get the support they need to excel through Kids Cafe.
During the summer, many children struggle with hunger because federal school meal programs are not operating. To combat this problem, the Food Bank provides hot lunches to the students who qualify for reduced price or free lunches during the school year through the Kids Cafe Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
Kids Cafe is the nation’s largest charitable meal service program exclusively for needy children. It was founded in 1993 as a program of Feeding America. There are currently over 120 food banks operating Kids Cafes sites throughout the country. Kids Cafes are located in Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s/YWCA’s, churches, community centers, schools, and other sites where children gather after school and during non-school breaks.
At some of our Kids Cafe locations, the Food Bank provides Power Packs, a small nutritious snack box for children. Each afternoon a child participating in our Power Pack Program will receive a beverage (milk or fruit juice), a snack such as pretzels or animal crackers, along with a piece of fresh fruit. Each snack provided must meet the nutritional guidelines provided by the USDA.