Introducing… Afterschool Meals

Gleaners recently launched our NEW Afterschool Meals Program. Through a partnership with Second Helpings, the program provides students and their families dinner in a safe, familiar environment. Each site operates in conjunction with an already existing afterschool program that offers both enrichment and educational activities. Not only does the program deliver resources for youth, but it allows parents the opportunity to sit down and have a meal with their children without having to worry about what they will prepare or where they will get the resources needed to make it.

Our first site partnership has been with Holy Cross Central, a school where almost 95% of their students receive free and reduced lunches. Youth and volunteers alike were giddy as the first meals started to hit the plates.

“This is the best day ever!”

Brother and Sister

“I get to eat the whole pork chop? I always have to share it.”

These are just some of the comments I caught amongst the chatter as families began to enjoy the start of nutritious, hot meals 5 nights a week.

The program also provides families with increased access to fresh products as Second Helpings is able to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables. The salads are instantly gobbled up which seems fitting during National Nutrition Month. Program sites also complete a nutrition education lesson with those who attend each month.

The Afterschool Meals Program provides new opportunities for kids to just be kids without the worry or burden of hunger.

PS: That boy who got to eat the whole pork chop… … …

he ended up eating 3!