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Programs collaborate to feed Cheney children

In September, Cheney Middle School joined two Spokane neighborhoods in opening a Kids Cafe that provides healthful food to children in after-school programs.

Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest and Communities in Schools of Spokane County launched this program.

Cheney Kids Cafe
Cheney Middle School students load food at Kids Cafe.

Second Harvest opened the first Kids Cafe in the state of Washington last year at the Northeast Youth Center in Hillyard. A second was opened at Spokane’s West Central Community Center this past June.

This collaborative effort will provide hundreds of school-age children free hearty snacks, “filling a nutritional gap for children from struggling households. Snacks will include dairy and other protein-rich products, juices, fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Rod Wieber, Second Harvest’s community relations director.

“Communities in Schools is dedicated to bringing the right resources to the right kids at the right time, said Ben Stuckart, executive director.  “When food insecurity issues came up, we contacted Second Harvest. 

“We did not expect they would open the first school-based Kids Cafe in Washington State at one of our locations, but were thrilled they did.  This is how community partnerships should develop in our community—like-minded organizations collaborating to find a solution that benefits all children,” he said.

A Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank distributed food to low-income people and seniors in need after the Kids Cafe kick-off on Sept. 22.

Kids Cafe, a nationwide program launched in 1993 by Feeding America, has 1,700 locations across the nation providing free meals and snacks to children from low-income families.

“Communities in Schools of Spokane County helps hundreds of children successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life’s challenges,” said Jason Clark, executive director of Second Harvest. “We are proud to partner with them in Cheney to provide children with the food they need to learn, grow and reach their full potential.”

For information, call 252-6259 or visit www.2-harvest.org.