Our Family Foundation by Stop and Shop has awarded Long Island Cares, Inc.-The Harry Chapin Food Bank a second $125,000 grant to support their Kids Cafe After School Food and Mentoring Program. The grant is part of a three-year initiative to fight child hunger across Ahold USA’s market areas.
Established in 2002, Long Island Cares’ Kids Cafe Program provides nutritious meals and snacks to children who have no safe after-school environment and who have limited access to food and little if any appropriate space to do homework or play. At a Kids Cafe, under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can do homework and get involved with other educational, recreational and social activities and enjoy a healthy meal. Long Island Cares oversees 16 Kids Cafe’s, which includes two former After-School Snack Programs, across Long Island. Because of the support offered by Our Family Foundation, Long Island Cares converted these After-School Snack Programs to Kids Cafes Programs. “This very generous grant has given our Kids Cafe Program a real boost,” said Kristine Lehn, Director of Agency Relations at Long Island Cares. “We have expanded the number of sites and we have been able to supply much needed kitchen equipment so the programs can switch from serving snacks to serving meals. It has made a tremendous change. With the support offered this year, we are planning to add an additional 8 Kids Café Programs.”
Ahold USA supports four regional divisions: Stop & Shop New England; Stop & Shop New York Metro; Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle that operate nearly 775 supermarkets with approximately 120,000 associates in 14 states and the District of Columbia, along with Peapod, the nation’s leading online grocery shopping/delivery service. With nearly $26 billion in sales, Ahold USA is in the top ten largest food retailers in the United States. The goal of the “Feed More Children” initiative is to get healthy meals to more hungry children.
“This is a very significant grant to address a very significant issue on Long Island,” said Paule Pachter, Long Island Cares’ Executive Director. “There are more than 110,000 children on Long Island that are food insecure and our Kids Cafe programs which are part of a nationwide program supported by Feeding America is one solution for these children in need. We work closely with several community-based Boys and Girls Clubs to provide Kids Cafe sites and because of this grant from Ahold USA we can do so much more in the next three years.”