‘Hunger doesn’t take vacations’: Kids Cafe to feed more kids this summer due to inflation

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 8:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 10:18 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Summer vacation is quickly approaching, but this means that for some, meals have to come from other sources besides the school cafeteria.

The High Plains Food Bank Kids Cafe Summer Program starts June 5th.

Children in the Panhandle who would normally rely on school breakfast and lunch can still have access to a meal in the summertime.

Last summer, Kids Cafe provided 28,668 meals to students on summer break. This year they expect the need will be greater.

“We may have an influx of more kids simply because parents can’t put that second or third meal on the table for them and that’s the whole point of our program is we want to help families with their budgeting,” says Maribel Sotelo, Director of Kids Cafe.

Sotelo adds that with the rise in inflation this year, no one is getting a break, even the food banks, resulting in families having to make tough decisions.

“Kids don’t have access to breakfast they don’t have access to lunch when school’s out. So this is just a small way that we can ensure that a lot of these kiddos are getting that meal for breakfast or for lunch, whatever their program is offering,” said Sotelo

Kids Cafe says the price of food has gone up across the board, even for the food bank and Jerod Gilliam who manages the kitchen says children are going to need Kids Cafe now more than ever.

“It’s because everything is so expensive families cannot buy as much food as they once were able to with the same paycheck. So now they have to rely on outside sources like us, Kids Cafe, and the food bank itself to make up for the differences,” says Jerod Gilliam, Kitchen Coordinator of Kids Cafe.

“Hunger doesn’t take vacations, it doesn’t take summer breaks, it doesn’t take a spring break or a holiday break anytime. and so for us to be able to provide those meals is crucial,” says Sotelo.

This year Kids Cafe decided to take a new approach to combating inflation.

“Normally we would deliver every single site and this year we’re combating that by saving gas by having the sites actually come and pick up their meals instead of us delivering them so that cuts down on our gas prices. Our overhead just a little bit,” explains Gilliam.

Kids Cafe will begin June 5th and will operate through the summer until August 4th.