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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid