Shortcut Navigation:

Kids Cafe Making A Difference

by Kelly King, Agency Relations Supervisor

 Alex is an 11 year old boy living in Tustin with his Mom and Dad and 2 young brothers and 1 baby sister. Alex is an outgoing boy who attends an after school program at his local Community Center. Tustin Community Center offers snacks provided by Second Harvest Food Bank's, Kids Cafe Program to the kids who attend the after school program. He’s the first to admit he loves everything that has to do with Star Wars, and invests as much time playing with his Star Wars toys as he does reading books about the character’s fantastical pursuits.

The 11-year-old started coming with his family to the Tustin Community Center during the fall of 2008, finding that the Tustin Community Center offered a safe place for kids to play and learn, as well as families to get food other types of assistance. Alex’s parents are very happy that they are able to take their kids to the Tustin Community Center to get the homework assistance they need and also the nutritious afternoon snack that is provided.

Kids Cafe Provides More than a Snack
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County makes sure that all the snacks that are provided to the 37 Kids Cafe sites throughout Orange County are very healthy. Each Kids Cafe snack consists of a fruit or veggie and a dairy product (string cheese, milk, and yogurt) and occasionally a granola bar. Second Harvest also provides its Kids Cafe sites with a trained nutrition volunteer that comes each week and does a nutrition lesson and activity with the kids. These Nutrition Volunteers are working to increase the nutrition knowledge that the children have as well as teaching them to make healthy choices.

Alex's Ambitions
Alex’s ambition to be a cop, a fire man, an ambulance driver, and a Jedi Knight all derive from his family's drive to give their children a better life. Alex’s mom Santana knows that for him and his siblings to be successful in school and in life, they need to have three healthy meals a day, but with a single family income and a large family that is not always an option. Santana has had to sign her children up to receive the Free and Reduced Lunch program while at school. This program provides her children with breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, at school. Alex’s family has also attended a Second Harvest Food Bank Food Stamp Workshop, so that they will be able to get some additional food assistance to provide for their large family.

A Hopeful Future
As a family they have struggled, but they are thankful for the opportunities they have stumbled upon. Even more important, Santana is grateful to have found a way to make sure that Alex and the rest of her children are provided with some of the essential nutrients he needs everyday to grow strong, so he can one day pursue his great ambitions.


Add a Comment (All fields required)

  • (will not be published)    

Hungry? Find Food.

Second Harvest Food Bank works with partner agencies to distribute food throughout Orange County. Find an agency near you that can help.