The Need for a Kids Cafe in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the 4th hungriest city in the nation. Studies have demonstrated that children from low-income households are twice as likely to be obese than those from middle or high-income homes. Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health deems the areas surrounding 14 of our 18 Clubs as “food deserts” due to their low-income and high inaccessibility to walkable fresh food. The combination of these factors results in a myriad of obstacles for youth, including health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, aggression, anxiety, passivity, and trouble concentrating.

Our Program

The Kids Café program targets low-income, at-risk, and food-insecure youth between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. The primary purpose of nutrition and food programs at our Clubs is to provide access to high-quality, nutritious meals for our youth, many of whom are food insecure.

We currently operate full-service Kids Cafés at our Wissahickon, Wayne Avenue, Germantown, and Northeast Frankford Clubs, serving over 500 meals daily to Club members and community youth. Our full-time Chefs prepare meals with fresh ingredients so that the food not only is nutritious, but also tastes good and has the homemade touch to make our kids feel welcome.


The Kids Café is self-sustaining and certified through the CACFP and SFSP programs and receives reimbursements at a rate of $.91/snack, $3.31/dinner, and $2.03/breakfast, ensuring that the program will remain continuously operational. Most importantly, this program helps us fulfill our mission by ensuring that our kids have all of their basic needs met and can fully participate in programs that help them learn and develop.

Two young girls holding water bottles and a packaged snack
A young girl posing in front of a board

Favorite Meals

  • Chicken Fajita Flatbread with Roasted Corn Salsa and Grilled Asparagus
  • Hone-Dijon Salmon
  • Pierogis

Kids Cafe Supporters:

Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation
Louis N Cassett Foundation

The Wawa Foundation

A little girl in a yellow shirt

WW Smith Charitable Trust

1The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia., “2013 Community Health Needs Assessment Summary & 2013-2016 Implementation Plan” 2018

2Mallya, Giridhar “Walkable Access to Healthy Food in Philadelphia, 2010-2012” Philadelphia's Department of Public Health, 2013, September 25, 2018

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) E-mail: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.