“To run these programs for our teens, we need partners to help keep the doors open,” says Lance Latimer, director of the Teen Center at the Bellevue Boys & Girls Club. “It’s huge to have Food Lifeline as a partner.”
In conjunction with Food Lifeline, the Bellevue Boys & Girls Club works to ensure students at risk of hunger have a food safety net after school and during the summer months through the Kids Cafe program. Lance says being able to offer a full, balanced meal is aligned with the Club’s goal of helping kids and teens reach their full potential.
In addition to the Kids Cafe, the Club provides a wide array of programs to help bolster students’ character and fuel their success. The BE GREAT: Graduate initiative empowers youth in grades 6 to 12 throughout the school year and summer months, supporting academic achievement to diminish the 33-percent drop-out rate. The Club also employs two counselors who provide therapy for students in need, and each participant is assigned a case manager.
On Fridays, kids participate in computer refurbishment — disassembling donated computers, rebuilding them and taking them home. The Ground Zero music program hosts weekend concerts that require non-perishable groceries as admission. The food collected is distributed to food-insecure Club member families. They also host a weekly cooking class taught by a culinary school graduate who grew up in a nearby housing complex where many Club members live.
As Lance explains, the common perception that Bellevue is a wealthy community can be deceiving. Section 8 housing complexes sprinkle the area, and he knows many of the families he serves struggle to provide enough food for their children without help. That’s why he’s so relieved he’s able to serve three nutritious meals every weekday this summer — and so grateful for people like you, who make it possible.
“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you,” Lance says, adding, “We would love to have you come and see the impact you’re making!”
Your gifts truly make all the difference. Thank you for helping solve hunger for children and families in need!