When Luis and his sister Evolet are side by side, it’s hard to tell who is older. But six-year old Luis makes it clear that he is the oldest sibling—even if it’s just by one minute. Luis points out that Evolet is his little sister.
The fraternal twins like to play and have fun. At school, they are both in the same classroom, but sit at different tables. As first graders, they’re excited to be reading books.
After school, the siblings head to the YMCA Learning Center located onsite at their apartment complex. They join other children for after-school activities, to work on their homework and to get a meal provided by the Food Bank.
With one in five Central Texas kids at risk of hunger, the site is part of the Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program, which helps fight child hunger. The program provides nutritious, fresh, hot or cold meals prepared in the Food Bank’s kitchen each day to kids who are food-insecure and provides funding to self-prep sites for kids to make their own meals.
Volunteers and kitchen staff prepare about 950 meals in our kitchen each day. The meals are sealed in trays, packed up and sent out for distribution to about 48 Kids Cafe sites in Central Texas. Between kitchen meals and the self-prep sites, the Food Bank serves approximately 1,350 meals per day to kids like Luis and Evolet.
Kids can expect to get things like spaghetti, tamales, sandwiches, and much more from the meals. Their meal trays will also include fruits and vegetables, along with milk. The kids love it.
“My favorite thing is everything!” Luis said.
For their mom Mayra, the food the kids get at the Kids Cafe site makes a difference. Mayra is a hard-working single mom who has to keep a tight budget to make it through the end of the month.
Mayra used to get SNAP benefits, but she no longer qualifies. Without the extra help, it has made it more difficult to get the groceries she needs.
“With food stamps it’s good because they will go and each of them will get different stuff. Now, it’s like, Ok y’all pick one, it’s only one option now or two. It’s not as if they can just go in the store and just grab whatever they want to get,” Mayra said.
Mayra limits herself to only getting the bare necessities at the store and always cooks at home. The Kids Cafe meals her kids receive help her save money and use that for other expenses.
“Thank you so much for all the food they get and all the stuff you guys do for them,” Mayra said.
Mayra’s family is part of the nearly 450,000 Central Texans who are food insecure. If you or someone you know needs help with kids’ meals, you can find the nearest Kids Cafe site here.