The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma Provides a Safe Place for Kids

CARING CAFE: The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma recently opened a Cafe just for kids. Kids Cafe will extend a helping hand families in the Tulsa area.

Courtesy Community Food Bank

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Kendall Whittier, Inc. are celebrated the grand opening of the region’s third Kids Cafe. The celebration took place at the Kendall Whittier, Inc. after-school program on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. The program is located at College Hill Presbyterian Church, 712 S. Columbia, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kids Café is a program of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Feeding America, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest. It provides free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of community locations where children typically congregate. In addition to providing meals, Kids Café programs also offer a safe place where children can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities.

“This new partnership with Kendall Whittier will enable us to provide more meals to more hungry children,” said Sara Waggoner, the executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “This collaborative effort gives parents and caregivers an additional way to ensure that their children receive hot and nutritious meals.”

A $25,000 Food Startup Kids Cafe Grant from Mars Food made it possible to add three new Kids Café programs in eastern Oklahoma to the one that opened in March 2007 at the Boys and Girls Club of Green Country in Pryor. In August 2008 the Kids Café at the Springdale Recreation Center in Tulsa opened in partnership with the non-profit agency, Families of Murdered Children. A third Kids Café is set to open soon at the Boys and Girls Club of Bartlesville.

“We had not been happy with the food choices we had been providing the 55 kindergarten though fifth graders in our free year-round program.” said Trinna Burrows, executive director of Kendall-Whittier, Inc. “What we’d been able to secure was prepackaged, not fresh, and often included processed food items. Thanks to the Kids Café program, we are able to bring the healthiest foods to those most in need. It will make a huge difference, and we thank our friends at the Food Bank for extending this unique and much needed resource to us.”

Kendall Whittier Inc., a 501© 3 organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is committed to the revitalization and support of the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood. The neighborhood is located between Eleventh Street on the south, Dawson Road on the north, Harvard on the east, and Utica on the west. Although Kendall-Whittier is a neighborhood rich in culture and history, most of its residents live on the social and economic fringes of society. Systemic poverty, substance abuse, illiteracy, and family violence are just some of the challenges that confront the families in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood. Our programs include a Youth Mentoring Program (YMP) – a free, afterschool program for neighborhood children ages K-5th grade, an Emergency Food Pantry and Community Outreach. For more information, please visit our website at Kendall Whittier Inc..

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is a private, nonprofit organization that procures, warehouses and distributes donated grocery items to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of Eastern Oklahoma. These programs include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, shelters and senior centers. In turn, those programs collectively feed 50,000 people each week the equivalent of 539,000 meals per month. In addition, the Food Bank helps raise public awareness about hunger and the role of food banking in alleviating hunger.

Feeding America is the country’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization with a network of more than 200 regional member food banks and food-rescue programs serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The network secures and distributes nearly two billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually. The America’s Second Harvest Network supports approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies operating more than 94,000 programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, and Kids Cafes. For more on Feeding America, please visit Feeding America

Updated 05-18-2009

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