Children’s Nutrition Programs


For many children in need on Long Island, New York, school is not only a place for education and socialization; it also is the source of what may be 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 isolation. Long Island Cares’ Children’s Nutrition programs are working to change all that via our:


Kids Cafe After-School Food and Mentoring Program

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’ Cafe programs provide:

  • Free nutritious meals and snacks to these children.
  • A safe, clean and supervised environment in which children can do their homework and participate in other educational, recreational and social activities.
  • Nutrition education throughout the year.
  • KidsStock Newsletter, a newsletter with age appropriate nutritional information, including submissions from the Kids Cafe participants.

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 Kids’ Cafe programs have expanded in recent years due to the generous support from Stop & Shop.  Download our KidStock Newsletter for child appropriate nutrition information and fun puzzles for children!

KidsStock Winter 2019 Newsletter
KidsStock Spring 2019 Newsletter


For more information about our Kids Cafe Afterschool programs, please call Kerry at 631-582-3663 ext. 132 or email ktooker@licares.org.


Pack It Up For Kids

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.).

For more information about our Pack It Up For Kids programs, please call Kerry at 631-582-3663 ext. 132 or email ktooker@licares.org.


Childrens Nutrition Summer Food Programs

Summer Food Service Program

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 Summer Food Service Programs, please call Kerry at 631-582-3663 ext. 132 or email ktooker@licares.org.

For schedule click here.


Children’s Breakfast Food Trucks 

Our Mobile Breakfast Food Trucks are fully equipped vehicles that deliver ready-to-eat, no cost, nutritious breakfast meals for children experiencing low food security. The two food trucks travel throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties to partner with schools, local community organizations, government municipalities, and our community-based member agencies to assist the more than 89,000 children that are in need of healthy meals when school is closed. Both food trucks are stocked with healthy cold cereals, fresh or shelf stable low-fat milk, juices, fruit cups and nutritious snacks that are dispensed directly from the vehicle. Long Island Cares’ Mobile Breakfast Food Trucks are a first-of-their-kind model program, and one that is not operated by any other non-profit organization within our region. When local schools are not open, the food truck will schedule morning visits on a daily basis to communities where a high concentration of children in need reside. When schools are open, and children are able to receive their school meal, the food truck is dispensed to visit locations where our seniors and veterans in need of food assistance are located, and the model of partnering with local organizations and municipalities is duplicated for this population as well.

For more information about our Children’s Breakfast Food Trucks, please contact Christine Brown, Manager of Community Education and Outreach programs at (631) 582-3663,ext 120 or cbrown@licares.org.

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