The South End Children’s Café is a program that serves children and families in the South End community in Albany, New York.
The mission of the South End Children’s Café is to impact hunger and food insecurity, enhance academic success and influence the physical and mental health of children by offering free, healthy dinner time meals along with academic enrichment, tutoring, mentoring, job readiness training and participation in the arts during non-school hours.
The South End neighborhood is one of the poorest in the City of Albany. Vacant buildings and lots can be found throughout the South End, where an increasing number of people in poverty reside. Almost half of the households in Albany’s South End with children under the age of 18 live at or below the Federal Poverty Level. Ten percent of the residents are 65 years or older and 70% of this group are grandparents who are caring for children 18 years or younger.
Differences in poverty rates among young children are even more striking, with approximately 60% of children less than age five in the South End of Albany living in poverty, compared to 24% of children less than age five in other neighborhoods. The median household income in the South End is 53.4% less than the Albany average and 74.5% less than the New York average.
The lack of resources in the South End of Albany, the growing number of food insecure families in New York, and the devastating academic challenges faced by this community has created the need for this new and unique community resource for the children by responding quickly to one of the most important needs: healthy and nutritious meals.
At the South End Children’s Café, all meals are free. There are no prices on the menus. Children, youth and family members all participate in the success of the café by volunteering ten hours each month in some capacity, and work alongside adult mentors who teach valuable life, communication and job readiness skills.
No child should be hungry. A child should not be concerned if they are going to eat dinner, or not. A child should not experience health challenges because they are not getting enough nutritional food to eat. A child should not be struggling in school because they are hungry. And a parent should not have to tell their child or children they have no food to give them to eat.
Please join the South End Children’s Café in feeding children and families, nourishing the body and spirit and building community by the simple act of breaking bread. This is truly a community project, with children, youth, families, community members, restaurants and businesses coming together to impact hunger. Our doors will be opening in August of 2015, so your contribution will be part of the beginning of something really special and we hope you will say “I helped open the doors of the South End Children’s Café.”
Please join our community, help children and families and see your love in action. Thank you for your support and kindness.
SUPPORT OUR MOVEMENT
For more information, contact Tracie Killar, Director, at 518.275.8890.