The cycles of poverty our clients struggle with force them to make impossible trade-offs. Choosing between purchasing food and paying a medical or utility bill is an unfortunate reality for many of the people we serve. The good news is that Food Lifeline is helping to stabilize those trades-offs by providing food to our most vulnerable community members. Through our mobile feeding programs, we have the opportunity to not only feed hungry people, but also to disrupt generational poverty.
In particular, our child feeding efforts—Kids Cafe and School Pantry programs— aim to serve children and their guardians. Our School Pantry program, which will be adding another school site this year, delivers food to at least two generations of clients – kids and their caretakers. We know that in order to disrupt the cycle of poverty our clients face, our best hope is to have a “whole family” approach. With our Kids Cafe program, Food Lifeline delivers direct financial benefits to our clients. We know that for the family of summertime Kids Cafe participants, the food benefit is about $300 a month. Furthermore, for parents experiencing great economic distress, being able to count on meals being served to their kids relieves a great deal of worry while simultaneously allowing them to focus on accessing different services for lifting themselves out of poverty.
We know that our clients are oftentimes a $250-$750 unexpected expense away from falling further into poverty. Each financial setback makes it exponentially harder to regain stability. By providing food, our goal is to stabilize this fluctuation and help at-risk communities either maintain or regain self-sufficiency. As we continue to expand our partnerships within the healthcare and financial sectors, one key evaluation tool will be the economic impact we can help deliver for our clients. Please stay tuned as we continue to build out this model. In the meantime, please click here for more Kids Cafe details!