While their classmates are swimming and enjoying
barbecues during summer vacation from school, thousands of Nebraska
children are worrying about finding their next meal. The summer months
are especially difficult for kids at-risk of hunger and their families.
Over 40 percent of children in Nebraska receive free or reduced school
lunches, and in some schools, these percentages climb to as high as 80
and 90. These children are seeking other resources for meals when school
is out of session.
To combat the epidemic of childhood summer
hunger in Nebraska, The Omaha Salvation Army and Food Bank for the
Heartland are collaborating again for the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program
(KCK). In its seventh year, KCK is providing hot, nutritious meals free
of charge to the places where children live and play such as parks,
libraries and apartment complexes. Children 18 years of age and under
are eligible for meals.
Utilizing the organizations’ combined
four food trucks, Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen serves lunch at 14 sites in
Omaha, Bellevue, Ralston, La Vista, Plattsmouth and Blair. KCK operates
May 30 through August 11 during the weekdays. The goal for 2017 is to
provide 50,000 meals. Mutual of Omaha employees are donating more than
1,200 volunteer hours to assist in the distribution of the meals.
addition to the 14 lunch sites, Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen is serving dinner
on Tuesday evenings at Heartland Hope Mission and on Wednesday evenings
at The Beautiful Gate. KCK is also delivering lunches to nine metro
nonprofit organizations where staff members and volunteers will serve
them to children in need. A complete listing of KCK locations and
distribution times can be found here.