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 Our Family Foundation.




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.).


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.  If you know a child in need of summer meals, please call 2-1-1 or 1-866-3-HUNGRY, text “FOOD” to 877-877 or click here for help.

For more information about our Children’s Nutrition Programs, please call Kerry at 631-582-3663 ext. 132 or email ktooker@licares.org.


Children’s Breakfast Food Trucks

November 2016 Distributions

Our Children’s Breakfast Food Trucks are a first-of-its-kind model program, and one that is not operated by any other non-profit organization within our region. The food trucks partner with several organizations including local libraries, health clinics, local municipalities, and our own satellite locations to provide easy access to a healthy breakfast for children in need. When local schools are not open, the food trucks 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 trucks are 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 will be duplicated for this population.  One truck is designated for Suffolk County, and the other serves Nassau County.

The food trucks are equipped with a complete stainless steel interior including counter space, shelving, cabinets and storage areas. A refrigerator and freezer is included as part of the interior, along with a sink, 40 gallon fresh water tank, 50 gallon waste tank and one endless water heater. A low emissions generator and electrical hook up is featured.  All of the foods dispensed from the truck are ready-to-eat and do not require any cooking equipment.

For more information please contact Christine Brown, Manager of Community Education and Outreach programs at (631) 582-3663,ext 120 or cbrown@licares.org.