Kids to get wholesome
snacks at Kauai site

LIHUE » The Kauai Food Bank has received a grant to set up a "Kid's Cafe" where students can go for a healthy snack of mostly fruit after school.

The Kid's Cafe will be the first in Hawaii, although the program provided 12 million after-school meals to children in 41 other states and Washington, D.C., last year.

The program will begin in September at the Waimea Boys and Girls Club adjacent to Waimea High School. The club, which occupies an old community center, already draws about 40 youngsters every day with its gym, weight room and high-speed computer lab.

Most important, it has a kitchen certified by the state Health Department. That's where the snacks will be prepared.

"After school they are hungry for something to eat," said William Trujillo, director of the Boys and Girls Club.

There will be an educational component put on by the Kauai Children's Discovery Museum. The emphasis will be on nutrition and gardening.

"I'm sure they're going to love it," said museum Director Robin Mazor. "It will be interactive and it will be upbeat."

Kid's Cafe is funded by food conglomerate ConAgra Inc. through America's Second Harvest, a nonprofit organization that serves as a clearinghouse for surplus food for food banks across the country.

Judy Lenthall, Kauai Food Bank executive director, said the program is being funded by a $20,000 grant. The fresh food will be provided by local farmers who grow fruits and vegetables for the food bank.

Lenthall said the program is not only a first for Hawaii, it is the first Kid's Cafe in any rural area. Waimea qualified because of the high number of low-income families on Kauai's west side -- 54 percent of the children receive free or reduced-price school lunches -- and because of the availability of a kitchen.


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