Thursday April 24, 2014
Youth Afterschool Meals Program Offered at Six Metro Parks Community Centers
City receives $44,000 grant, will partner with Dare to Care to combat childhood hunger
Louisville has been selected as one of 15 cities to receive a $44,000 grant by the National League of Cities (NLC) as part of a national initiative to reduce childhood hunger. The grant is being used to implement an afterschool meals program for youth at six Metro Parks Community Centers.
Louisville’s program, called the Metro Afterschool Dare to Care Kids Cafe, is partnering with the Dare to Care Food Bank which prepares and delivers the meals. The six Metro Parks Community Centers were selected in neighborhoods with high economic needs that are underserved, based on census data.
The Dare to Care Community Kitchen in partnership with Lift a Life Foundation delivers hot, nutritious meals each weekday evening to the six centers. At these sites, Metro Parks provides a variety of educational and enrichment activities (excluding holidays). No pre-registration is required. Participation is on a drop-in basis, with free meals and activities available for any child 6-18 years old.
“A well balanced diet, both during and after school, is vitally important to a child’s growth, development and ability to learn,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This program will help ensure that many youth who might not otherwise get the nutrition they need – will get good nourishment in a safe, supervised space where they can enjoy positive experiences.”
Funded by the Walmart Foundation, the Combating Child Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meals Programs (CHAMPS) initiative also provides city officials with technical assistance, training, opportunities for peer learning, and tools on boosting enrollment in the new afterschool meal program. The NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education & Families is coordinating the CHAMPS initiative in partnership with the Food Research and Action Center.
Participating Community Centers
- Baxter Community Center, 1125 Cedar Ct., 40203. Call 574-2670 for more information. Serving times are Mon. - Fri., 5 - 6 p.m.
- California Community Center, 1600 W. Saint Catherine St., 40210. Call 574-2658 for more information. Serving times are Mon. - Fri., 5 - 6 p.m.
- Parkhill Community Center, 1703 South 13th St., 40210. Call 637-3044 for more information. Serving times are Mon. - Fri., 5 - 6 p.m.
- Portland Community Center, 640 North 27th St., 40212. Call 776-0913 for more information. Serving times are Mon. - Thurs., 5 - 6 p.m. and Fri., 4-5 p.m.
- Southwick Community Center, 3621 Southern Ave., 40211. Call 775-6598 for more information. Serving times are Mon. - Fri., 5 - 6 p.m.
- Sun Valley Community Center, 6505 Bethany Ln., 40272. Call 937-8802 for more information. Serving times are Tues. - Thurs., 5 - 6 p.m.
In addition to the meals offered at the six centers, the California, Portland and Southwick centers recently added Wi-Fi internet service for public use. The city’s community centers offer other programs and activities for youth ranging from health and fitness to arts-based programs to organized sports leagues.
The Metro Afterschool Dare to Care Kids Cafe will continue through the end of this school year on June 6, and then switch over to the Summer Food Service Program during the summer months. The afterschool meals program will resume when JCPS classes resume on August 13.
The grant was obtained by Louisville Metro Community Services and Revitalization as part of the department’s continuing efforts to assist low to moderate income residents with programs and services with the goal of making them safe and self-sufficient. For more information, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/csr , call MetroCall at 311, or call the Community Centers’ phone numbers listed above.
Other cities selected to receive assistance through the CHAMPS initiative include Baltimore, Columbus, Houston, Kansas City, Rochester, Seattle, Tacoma, and Tallahassee.