Harvesters Kids Cafe helps thousands in need get access to food, learn about nutrition

Hunger Action Month

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Kids across the metro are not only getting good food, but learning about nutrition, too. Harvesters is working with community partners, like Trails West Library in Independence, to make sure kids don’t go hungry.

What you can fit in a plain paper sack can make a huge difference.

“It’s just amazing. Indescribable, because we know that we’re helping kids that play and focus more when you have a healthy nutritious meal then other things in your life are better accomplished,” teen associate Jill Hamilton said.

Trails West is one of 35 metro spots where kids 18 and under can not only fill up on good food, but also learn why it’s nutritional.

“We know that nutritious habits start early. So if we’re giving them dairy, fruit, vegetables hopefully those are things that they begin to enjoy and those are things they’ll prepare for their own family someday,” Harvesters spokesperson Kera Mashek said.

Thousands of kids benefit from the program each month and can come pick up a sack lunch after school Monday through Friday.

“The need is huge right now,” Hamilton said.

“No one wants to think about a kid being hungry at night and they’re not able to focus on their homework or do well in school the next day, and so being able to provide these really healthy great meals to these kids is a great community-wide benefit,” Mashek said.

Harvesters works with their partners to get the sack lunches into the hands and bellies of kids who need it. The organization says one in six metro kids may not know where their next meal is coming from.

“The fact that they provide all of these meals to libraries in schools makes such a difference in all of these kids lives,” Hamilton said.

If you are a family in need of help, or would like to become a pickup location for kids in your neighborhood, visit the Harvesters website and they can help connect you.

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