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The 2021 season of the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program will start on June 1 and run through August 6.
The summer months can be especially challenging times for children who are at risk of hunger — and for their families, too. Some 43 percent of Nebraska children receive free or reduced-price lunches while at school; in some cases, those percentages soar into the 80s and even 90s. For thousands of children across Nebraska, summer vacation means hunger. Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen aims to be a lifeline for children and families who normally rely on getting lunches at school buildings, but who are unable to access such meals during the summertime due to lack of transportation or other logistical circumstances.
Last year, amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program was temporarily paused while its longtime service partners, Food Bank for the Heartland and The Salvation Army, responded to rapidly-evolving community needs by transitioning their resources to a drive-thru, on-site distribution model at area schools, pantries, and other partners.
This season, Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen is shifting back to more of a traditional service model. The Salvation Army is set to temporarily run the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program on its own for 2021, while Food Bank for the Heartland continues to focus efforts on its ongoing programs that address emergency community needs brought about by the pandemic.
Now in its tenth year, Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen will provide hot, nutritious lunches — free of charge — to area children at the places where they live and play, such as apartment complexes, libraries, and parks. Children 18 years of age and younger are eligible for meals.
Plans call for eight different feeding sites to be utilized during this new season. The sites cover a wide swath of the metro area — from Valley in the northwest to Bellevue in the southeast. Serving times will vary by stop location.
Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen meals will be served by Salvation Army teams out of Salvation Army canteens (food trucks). Pandemic-safety protocols such as masks and social distancing will be followed.
Are you ready to help ensure kids have full bellies this summer? Sign up to volunteer for Kid's Cruisin' Kitchen! You will be part of a team of four that will make three stops along a designated route, serving meals to children in the area. Make a child's day and sign up today!
If you’re interested in volunteering for our Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen summer-feeding program -- but you’re hesitant about the time commitment -- then we have a new volunteering option for you! If you want to serve, but you need a shorter schedule, we can help. Please contact our Volunteer Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-898-6000 to find out more.