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After School Cafe Keeps Oklahoma Children Fed

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An after school cafe feeds thousands of meals and snacks to hungry children in Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma partners with organizations like the YMCA to keep kids fed. An after school cafe feeds thousands of meals and snacks to hungry children in Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma partners with organizations like the YMCA to keep kids fed.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An after school cafe feeds thousands of meals and snacks to hungry children in Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma partners with organizations like the YMCA to keep kids fed.

"Kids are willing to try new foods if adults put them in front of them," said Candice Hillenbrand with the YMCA.

At John Rex Elementary School in Oklahoma City, they are doing just that.

"If you line up four kids in the general Kids Cafe after school program across the state, one of them statistically would not know where their next meal will come from," she said.

Partnered with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the YMCA offers these students a Kid's Cafe, an after school program that provides food, mentoring and other activities.

"If their bellies are empty, then they're not able to concentrate, not able to retain information, they're not able to have good relationships with both their teachers and their peers," Hillenbrand said.

John Rex is one of 25 Kids Cafe sites in central and western Oklahoma serving approximately 2,600 children. The kids are served snacks or meals several days a week.

"If it is their last meal of the day, we want to make sure that it's nutritional and it's fulfilling so they can get a good night's sleep," she said.

Last year, Kids Cafe sites collectively served 92,593 snacks and 118,241 meals.

Click here to learn more about the Kids Cafe program.

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