Throughout the school year, the Food Bank manages our Kids Cafe program, which is an after-school program that offers tutoring, nutrition education, mentoring and nutritious meals to children at risk of hunger. Each Kids Cafe site is operated in partnership with a respected community agency to provide the attention and accountability needed to ensure quality programs for children.

Every year the Food Bank recognizes five of those agencies that go above and beyond the program requirements with our Kids Cafe Standards of Excellence Awards. The programs recognized this year received a monetary award of $1,000 (Best All-Around received $1,500) to reinvest in their exceptional programs. Read on to learn about the amazing things they are doing in their communities.

Parent Involvement Award: AventWest Children’s Mentoring

AventWest has fully embraced parental involvement by hosting monthly parent meetings that provide information about their child’s progress and about how to best work with them at home. They host special events to foster a sense of community and create a bond between the parents and the program. They have also created a lending library filled with free resources for parents.

Physical Activity Award: First Missionary Baptist Church of Warsaw

First Missionary Baptist Receiving Award

First Missionary Baptist has partnered with other community organizations to emphasize the importance of exercise and staying active. This has encouraged the children to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines.

Nutrition Education Award: Scotland Neck Education and Recreation Foundation

Scotland Neck Education Center Receiving Award

Scotland Neck has adopted a sugar-free approach to eating, intentionally cutting back on food that has added sugar and teaching kids the importance of eating sugar in moderation. They have also started a garden for their program, allowing the kids to experience firsthand what it is like to grow your own food.


Community-Based Award: Wilmington’s Residential Adolescent Achievement Place (WRAAP)

WRAAP Receiving Award

WRAAP partners with nearly a dozen local agencies and businesses to host events that allow the children to have a public platform to discuss issues that affect their lives. These events include mentoring from former program graduates and local community members. It also gives children a creative outlet and features music and dance performances.


Best Overall Program: Heartworks 21st CCLC

Heartworks Receiving Award

For the second year in a row, Heartworks has excelled in every aspect of the Kids Cafe program. They incorporate an outstanding approach to nutrition education including a large garden that the children help tend. Their physical activity program incorporates fun and goal-oriented activities like Zumba, a soccer league and a running group. This work has made them a pillar of their community and a support for parents to lean on.

Thanks so much to all of our dedicated Kids Cafe programs across our service area. Because of you, thousands of children have a safe place to play, learn, and eat after school. Thank y’all for your partnership!