In Rhode Island, nearly half of all school-aged children qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. To assist with dinner, Kids Cafe serves wholesome evening meals at sites in Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence, Newport and Providence.
The program, a partnership between the Food Bank and Boys & Girls Clubs and community centers, features meals prepared by the Community Kitchen program. Community Kitchen is a culinary training program that prepares unemployed adults for food service jobs.
Feeding America, a national network of more than 200 food banks, developed the Kids Cafe model in 1993. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank launched its first two Kids Cafe sites in 1998 at the Fox Point and Wanskuck Boys & Girls Clubs in Providence, and the program has continued to grow since then. It is operated with support from the USDA and grants from local business and organizations.
Kids Cafe currently operates at these sites:
- Calcutt Middle School
- The Learning Community
- Segue Institute for Learning
- Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln-Cumberland
- Boys & Girls Club of East Providence
- Boys & Girls Club Central Clubhouse
- Newport Heights
- Pell Elementary School
- West End Community Center