News / USA

Kids Cafe Fights Childhood Hunger

After-school program feeds the hungry while exposing children to healthy foods

Students in the Kids Cafe after-school program learn about the nutritious value of an avocado while making an avocado and bean dip.
Students in the Kids Cafe after-school program learn about the nutritious value of an avocado while making an avocado and bean dip.

Multimedia

Deborah Block

In the United States, many low income parents cannot afford to buy enough food for their children. A program called Kids Café is helping some of these children by providing free nutritious snacks and meals during after-school programs.  

At a community center in Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C., children make an avocado and bean dip as part of their after-school program. Many of them have never seen an avocado.  

"It’s very healthy for your body, but the main thing is that it tastes really, really good," Keith Clements tells them. He's with Arlington Parks and Recreation, which runs the after-school program.  

The children are between the ages of five and 11 and are from several local schools. About half have parents who are from Ethiopia. Many of the children eat traditional Ethiopian food at home. Kids Café, with food donated by a food bank, gives them an opportunity to try different types of food.

"It's good," says one girl.

Rebecca Nance, whose parents are from the United States, is not so sure. "The taste is weird."

Her mother, Daffany Nance has two children in the program. She's glad her kids are getting nutritious food.

"Even in my house we don’t have much junk food," says Nance, "so it’s very important that it’s healthy and continues to help them grow and be nourished in the proper manner."

The charity, Feeding America, launched the national Kids Café program in 1993. The organization says more than 16 million children in the United States live in households where there is not enough food to eat.  

Kids Café became part of the after school program at this community center five years ago.  Lori McFail heads the after-school program. She says some children do not eat well-balanced evening meals because their parents work late or cannot afford healthy food.  

"Some of them have reported that they don’t get enough food," says McFail.

The children are encouraged to share what they've learned with their families.  

Clements says recipes, like this avocado dip, are easy to make. "It’s a very kid friendly recipe because anyone can do it. You really don’t need any special utensils."

The children are taught about the nutritional value of foods.   

"It doesn’t give you any fat or sugar in it," says one girl.

They also learn which foods are good for them.

"You should always eat vegetables and fruits every day to give you muscles," says a boy named Matthew.

McFail hopes the children will apply what they've learned about nutrition throughout their lives. "I love the fact that I can come here, and know that they’ve eaten, and they're full and they're happy."

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid