Nearly one in three students in Larimer County schools qualifies for free or reduced lunch. For these children, summer vacation means no school meals and the prospect of going hungry. The Food Bank for Larimer County picks up when school lets out by providing free, nutritious meals to low income children ages 3-18 at sites throughout Larimer County.

To meet the need this summer, the Food Bank will serve meals and snacks at 14 sites throughout Larimer County, including two Northern Larimer County sites that include:

• Boys and Girls Club Wellington, 3815 W. Harrison Ave, Wellington
Lunch: 12-1 pm, Snack 3-4 p.m., M-F, 6/3/2014 thru 8/8/2014

• Northside Aztlan Community Center, 112 E Willow, Fort Collins
Breakfast: 8:15-9:15 a.m., Lunch: 12-1 p.m. M-F, 6/9/2014 thru 8/1/2014

Since 2005, the Food Bank for Larimer County’s Kids Cafe program has served free, nutritious meals to low-income children ages 3-18 after school and during the summer. The Food Bank partners with several Larimer County sites where children already congregate, including Boys and Girls Clubs, community centers and schools. In addition to healthy meals, Kids Cafe program sites also offer a safe place, where under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities.

Children from families that struggle with food insecurity are more likely to experience poor physical health and hospitalization, developmental delays, and often struggle in school. Furthermore, many of the risks of being food insecure are the same as those of becoming obese including limited resources; lack of access to healthy, affordable foods; cycles of deprivation and overeating; and high levels of stress. While the public health crises of obesity and diet related diseases affect all segments of the population, they disproportionally impact low-income families. The Kids Cafe program works hard to address these issues.

With two full-time kitchen staff and a registered dietician, the focus of our Kids Cafe team is on nutrition. Each Kids Cafe meal meets or exceeds USDA guidelines and is prepared fresh in the Kids Cafe kitchen by volunteers under the supervision of Food Bank staff. Menu items are kid tested, great tasting and nutritious! In addition, all Kids Cafe sites offer nutrition education.

For more information about the Food Bank and the Kids Cafe program, visit www.foodbanklarimer.org.

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