Child Nutrition Programs

One in four children in Arizona lives in poverty and is at risk of going to bed hungry in our community tonight. And while progress has been made to alleviate hunger over the next two decades, much more remains to be done. Here in Arizona, we rank 47th nationally in the number of children who may not know where their next meal is coming from. Our vision is that no child goes to bed hungry, so they can live healthy and productive lives. In response to these needs, St. Mary’s Food Bank operates programs that fight child hunger, including Kids Cafe® and the Backpack Program.

Kids Cafe®

This meal-service program provides Arizona children with what is often their last meal of the day. We currently collaborate with more than 60 schools, community centers, churches, and other neighborhood groups to provide more than 3,000 free, healthy meals daily in after-school and summer programs. In addition to the nutritious meals, these programs include recreational components and access to after-school tutoring. In 2013, we plan to expand Kids Cafe® to 5,000 meals daily, including 1,000 new hot meals, at more than 80 sites throughout the Valley.

Backpack Program

This program provides “chronically hungry” children in Arizona with non-perishable, primarily single-serve and child-friendly meals that kids can take home and eat on weekends when not in school. We currently collaborate with more than 30 schools and community centers to provide nearly 700 backpacks in the Valley as a supplemental food source that is distributed to children each Friday.

HOW CAN YOU HELP HUNGRY CHILDREN?

Donate: St. Mary’s Food Bank’s Child Nutrition Programs are expanding to meet the need in our community. To support daily operations for program sustainability and growth, as well as to alleviate food-purchasing, supply, and equipment costs, we ask that you make a donation online.

Volunteer: Volunteers are essential to our Child Nutrition Programs. To help prepare meals and assemble backpacks at our Surprise location, contact Volunteer Services at volunteer.services@firstfoodbank.org or call (602) 343-5637.

Partner: Child Nutrition Program partners host a Kids Cafe® or Backpack Program at qualifying locations. To partner and provide free, healthy meals to kids at risk of hunger, complete this form or contact tlmasias@firstfoodbank.org or call (602) 343-3124.

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