Kid’s Cafe sites help alleviate summer childhood hunger

Elizabeth Orosco
Northeast News

For most students, summer is a time of no school and carefree, fun activities, but for some kids, it means not knowing where their next meal will come from.

For a large portion of students who live in food insecure households, school is the one place they depend on to get a meal.
But what happens when school is out for months?

As part of its Childhood Hunger Initiative and to help alleviate summer childhood hunger, Harvesters—The Community Food Network, is offering Kid’s Cafe, a summer feeding program, at more than 50 sites this summer.

Gene Hallinan, communications manager with Harvesters, and Julie Huse, government programing manager, discussed how this program works and where kids can get free meals in any community.

“This program is really about making sure that kids who need food have it and that the access to it is easy,” said Huse.

Hallinan and Huse said students who are 18 and under can show up to any of the sites and get a free meal.

Each site offers a variety of meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.

The goal, Huse said, is to have enough variety of meals offered in one area that students are able to get three meals a day if needed.

“What we know is that in Harvesters’ service area, one is six children is food insecure,” said Huse.

But what exactly does being food insecure mean? Hallinana said, ultimately, it means being unsure where your next meal will come from.

“They might have a meal today, but they don’t know if there is going to be a meal tomorrow,” she said.

No registration or notice is needed. Kids are able to simply show up to the designated sites during listed service hours and be provided a meal.

The summer theme, “Meet and Eat,” welcomes all children and teens to meet up with friends and enjoy a healthy meal together.

“One of the things I love about the summer feeding program specifically is that it is for anyone 18 and under, so, if you know a child that needs a meal, friends can go together to get a meal and it helps reduce the stigma,” said Huse.

In the Northeast area, the Northeast branch of the Kansas City Public Library is serving dinner from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until August 16, 2019. They are located at 6000 Wilson Avenue, Kansas City, Mo., 64123.

Olive Park Village, located at 2310 E. 9th Street, is serving lunch from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. until July 23, 2019.

Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, located at 1622 E. 17th Terrace is serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11:15 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. until June 27, 2019.

Currently, only 13 percent of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year are accessing a free meal during the summer.

Hallinan said that is because kids and families might not know these meals are available.

“Families don’t know where to go. We try to get the info out as much as we can–we have signage with dates and times so the families can see that,” she said.

To find more locations that offer a free meal, Harvesters provides a food locator on their website, as well as a text line.

For instructions in English, text the word “FOOD” to 877877. You will then be asked to enter your zip code. A list of food sites will be sent to you with the location, phone number, and what time they are serving meals.

For instructions in Spanish, text the word “COMIDA” to 877877 and follow the same instructions.

You can also visit harvesters.org/Get-Help/Service-Locator to find a food location near you.

Huse said this is a great resource for families to use no matter where they are located.

“[These food locators] are a great resource if people are travelling or have plans that are not in their home location—they can still find these meals.”

For more information on Harvesters, visit harvesters.org.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Hunt for new KCI airport workforce begins with community outreach

    September 11th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News Residents who are interested in working to help construct the new Kansas City International Airport have […]


    KCPD recruits run to honor fallen officers

    September 11th, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Kansas City Police Department recruits honored the lives of officers killed in the line of duty […]


    KCPD officer receives Sgt. Gary Cooley Unsung Hero Award

    September 11th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News At this year’s Kansas City Recovery Coalition Award ceremony, Officer Mitchell Branch was awarded the Sergeant […]


    KCPD searching for person of interest in recent homicide who frequents Northeast area

    September 9th, 2019
    by

    KCPD searching for person of interest in June 2019 homicide who is known to frequent area of Northeast Kansas City


    “La Selva de los Relojes” Latin theater comes to Historic Northeast

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News At the corner of St. John Avenue and Askew, Yosmel Serrano is working to create a […]


  • Library extends operating hours across Kansas City

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News The Kansas City Public Library will be expanding operating hours beginning Friday, September 6, 2019 at […]


    Fill The Boot Fundraiser

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News This Labor Day weekend, over 1,200 firefighters collected donations at busy intersections across the KC metro […]


    New Kansas City University building anticipated to open March 2020

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News At this month’s Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Gregory Stribling, the capital projects manager […]


    The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce isn’t afraid to try something new for this year’s International Taste and Tour

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Bryan Stalder Northeast News Appetizers in Asia. Salad in Europe. Dinner in Africa. Dessert in South America. The Northeast Kansas […]


    Alley Beautification Continues

    September 4th, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Alley beautification continues to be a hot topic in Historic Northeast and the good news just […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?

    Remember This: Erasers

    September 11th, 2019
    by

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.