Childhood Nutrition

The food bank operates programs which provide food to children and their families at their school or aftercare provider.

There are nearly 200,000 children and teens at risk of hunger in the Washington, DC metro area. The Capital Area Food Bank provides three specialized food distribution programs to support children and their parents or guardians.

Our Family Markets are monthly nutritious food distributions at schools, which typically serve over 100 families in the school community. Educational programming is offered to participating Family Markets. Currently, the food bank operates 44 Family Markets in the greater Washington, DC region.

Our After School Meals program provides free, healthy meals and snacks to over 3,600 children and teens daily after school and over the summer at more than 80 locations. Kids Cafe partner organizations include community centers, apartment complexes, churches, and other organizations which provide youth enrichment activities. Menus feature wholesome ingredients such as baked chicken drumsticks, fresh salad, and whole wheat bread.

The Capital Area Food Bank also works with the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to ensure that children and teens have access to healthy Summer Meals. Free meals, that meet Federal nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children 18-years old and under at approved SFSP sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children. Learn more about SFSP at the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Website.

Weekend Bags are healthy, kid-friendly bags of groceries that ensure children in need have food to eat on the weekend. Distributed to nearly 2,000 children in 46 schools, churches, community centers, and other places where children gather, Weekend Bag recipients are typically identified by a counselor or adult at the site.

Mobile Meals Bus: In 2015, the Capital Area Food Bank and Shoppers launched an innovative mobile nutrition program to address the growing number of children struggling with hunger in Prince William County when school is out of session. The newly converted school bus delivers fresh, healthy lunches to approximately 300 children Monday through Friday during the summer months. The bus delivers to four locations in Manassas, Dumfries and Woodbridge.