The Food Bank of Northern Nevada wants all children to have the food they need to be able to focus on their schoolwork, grow and thrive.
Kids Cafe is a program that offers free meals to children after school and throughout the summer while they are out of school. This vital program aims to fill the outside-of-school nutrition gap for children who rely on free meals at school. Throughout the school year, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada operates the Kids Cafe Dinner Program at more than 30 locations in Washoe County. Thanks to a partnership with the Washoe County School District, the Food Bank is able to provide a free, nutritious dinner in schools right in the neighborhoods where children in need often live.
During the summer break, our mobile Kids Cafe Summer Meals program delivers a free lunch to children at more than 70 sites right in the neighborhoods where they live. Sites include local parks, low income housing complexes, and community centers, as well as several Washoe County Libraries.. Some Summer Meals sites also offer a free breakfast in addition to lunch.
All Kids Cafe meals are available to all children between the ages of 1 and 18 and are always free. Children do not have to attend schools where the meals are hosted or be part of any programming offered at the site.
Kids Cafe meals are supported in part by the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)* and are available to all children without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
The Back-Pack Kids program serves children who have been identified by teachers and counselors in their school as chronically hungry or children in transition. For these children, the meals provided at school during the week are often their primary access to food. The Back-Pack Kids program provides children on the program with a bag of food which can be discretely put into their backpack on Friday afternoon and taken home to provide weekend meals and snacks. A weekend without food can bring a child back to school on Monday morning feeling sick, irritable and distracted. The Back-Pack Kids program helps them return ready to settle down and learn. The Back-Pack Kids program is supported entirely by donations from our community.
The School Pantry program targets older children who may also be missing meals. School pantries have the benefit of helping the entire family, who are probably also in need. Schools, counselors, teachers and the school district are vital partners in school pantry programs.