Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana has launched a new program to fight child hunger in south Louisiana. Kids Cafe®, a program of Feeding America delivered locally by Second Harvest Food Bank, provides healthy meals to children who may not have access to food once they leave school.
The Kids Cafe program provides daily supper meals for approximately 1,200 children through participating after-school programs. In addition to the meals provided, Kids Cafe program sites offer enrichment activities and nutrition education. Hot meals are prepared and distributed each day from the Second Harvest Community Kitchen. Carefully planned menus ensure that children receive healthy, USDA-approved meals using the most nutritious ingredients, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta. The Kids Cafe after-school menu may include meals such as red beans and rice, baked chicken, or spaghetti and meat sauce. All meals are served with sides of vegetables, fruit, and milk.
Kids Cafe is possible through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and administered by the Louisiana Department of Education. Participating Kids Cafe feeding sites are located in neighborhoods where more than 50 percent of its students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch from their schools. Kids Cafe meals are provided to all children without charge. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there is no discrimination in the course of the meal service.