For many needy children on Long Island, New York, school is not only a place for education and socialization, it also is a source for what may be perhaps the only nutritional meal they have all day. Once they leave school – for the day, the week or the semester – they often face hunger . . . and oftentimes, isolation. Long Island Cares’ Children’s Nutrition programs are working to change all that via our:
Many children experiencing hunger leave school at the end of the day and return to an empty home, emergency shelter or some other transitional housing environment where there is limited access to food and little, if any, appropriate space to do homework or even play. To fill that need, Feeding America launched the national Kids’ Café program, and Long Island Cares opened its first one on Long Island in 2000.
Our Kids’ Café programs provide:
Operated in partnership with existing community organizations or public schools that already congregate during the after-school hours – such as the Boys and Girls Clubs – our programs seek to improve the quality of these children’s lives by ensuring some basic nutrition, helping them learn about healthy and nutritious eating and providing support in a safe, friendly and convenient environment.
Long Island Cares’ Pack It Up for Kids program helps alleviate children’s hunger when school is not in session and when other sources of meals are not available.
Designed for the many children on Long Island who rely on free or reduced-price school breakfast and lunch – and for whom weekend food resources are very limited – Pack It Up For Kids provides nonperishable, easy-to-prepare, nutritious food for these children on weekends and during school vacation periods.
Each child discreetly receives a pack with enough food for six meals and two snacks. Items include individual containers of juice, fruits, vegetables, shelf-stable milk, tuna, soups and small microwaveable items (macaroni and cheese, stews, chili, etc.).
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to ensure that low-income children, who rely on free or reduced-price school meals, receive meals when school is not in session. These healthy and nutritious meals are offered free to children 18 years of age and younger at designated sites. This program was designed to fill the nutritional gap for children in needy areas during the summer.
For more information about our Children’s Nutrition Programs, please call 631-582-3663 ext. 132.