KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the Kansas City metro area, more than 350,000 people are considered food insecure.
Harvesters said nearly 25 percent are children not knowing where their next meal is coming from.
Over the summer, the Kansas City Youth Ambassadors program was ensuring 150 children would eat breakfast and lunch, with the help of Harvesters Kids Cafe.
Established in 2010, Youth Ambassadors is an educational, not-for-profit employment program designed to empower under-served youth with the knowledge that they, as teenagers, have a vital voice. They have the power to be active participants in their communities, not just passive observers.
"We employ the youth to come and work for us and they learn life and job skills training for the future. We go over things like health, they also get some creative expression outlet through writing and art," Mallory Gobet, Director of Programs for Youth Ambassadors said.
Working with Kids Cafe, Youth Ambassadors is able to provide every teenager a fresh, daily breakfast and lunch.
Kids Cafe is both an after-school and summer feeding program. Sites can choose one of three partnership options:
• Daily delivery of fresh meals to the site, free of charge.
• Meal preparation by on-site staff with a set reimbursement.
• Shelf stable meals delivered to site free of charge.
Harvesters provides the Kids Cafe program free of charge to eligible sites.
The program serves nutritious meals for any child ages one to 18.
Harvesters said children participating in Kids Cafe eat healthier, which helps them do better in school and improves their chances for success. In addition, they learn healthy eating habits, and reduce their risk of chronic diseases in adulthood.
In its 26-county service area, Harvesters provides meals to hungry people at a number of places, including schools, libraries, community centers and more.
Last academic year, Kids Cafe had 65 sites. Over the summer, there were just over 50 sites in the Kansas City metro area.
All summer sites accept walk-ins and do not require pre-registration. To see a full list of Kids Cafe sites, click here.