In Nebraska, 96,700 children, or 1 in 5, are not sure where their next meal is coming from. Filling the nutrition gap is critical, as hunger increases children's risk for illness and is a severe obstacle to learning. Regular access to healthy, nutritious meals can make a big difference for these children. Through innovative collaboration with local service providers, national funders and dedicated community members, we have redesigned the way we provide nutrition services across the Western Division.
Some of the changes include serving free community meals in a warm setting where people can get to know their neighbors, teaching kids and their families how to cook healthy meals and live more actively, providing more fresh produce in our food pantries and enpowering clients to choose the specific food items their family will use. Also included are the operation of the innovative Kids Cafe and Backpack Buddies meal programs and pioneering a new model of meal program service through the Kids Cruisin' Kitchen program.
KCK started in 2011 in Omaha and Plattsmouth. It has expanded to Lincoln in 2012 and will begin in Norfolk in 2013. Summer Food Programs are also hosted in Fremont, Nebraska, at the Omaha Kroc Center, Gene Eppley Camp and Omaha North Corps. We are projected to serve over 20,000 meals in just three months to kids across the Western Division this summer.
For more information on the Kids Cruisin' Kitchen mobile feeding unit or to volunteer, please call J. J. Kuzma at (402) 898-7700, ext. 134.