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Fighting childhood hunger with Kids Cafe

Through the NBC15 Share Your holidays campaign, we are raising money to provide meals to those who are food insecure.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:31 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Through the NBC15 Share Your holidays campaign, we are raising money to provide meals to those who are food insecure.

NBC15 is partnering with Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin which has the same goal each day through various programs. One of those programs is Kids Cafe.

The Vera Court Neighborhood Center Kids Cafe was the first in Dane County and has been around since 2001. The Kids Cafe program provides free meals and snacks to kids in the community and organizers say the need has grown since the pandemic.

“It’s such a joy to see our kids come in every day,” said Program Director Tom Qualls.

Qualls says Kids Cafe is separate from the main after school programming at Vera Court. He says kids enjoy their time at the center.

Kids Cafe puts out three meal a week and serves 50 to 75 kids on average. Kids are also given a healthy snack with their meal. Qualls says the unique thing about their location is they were able to hire a cook. Nick Isham runs the kitchen and says he enjoys providing meals to the kids.

Parents say the program is a safe and fun place for their kids to spend time after school. Pulcherie Ekom has been bringing her kids for about 14 years and she even served as a cook at the center for a short time. “They educate your kid, they do homework. I’m so grateful,” said Ekom.

There are Kids Cafe locations across the country. Vera Court serves about 5,000 meals each year.

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