Childhood Hunger Rate in Worcester Higher than the National Average
The Boys & Girls Club of Worcester Serves Kids a FREE Dinner 5 Nights a Week
We don’t need to search very far for statistics on childhood hunger:
1 in 4 kids goes to bed hungry in Worcester.
That’s higher than the national average of 1 in 5.
Childhood hunger is linked to lasting effects on our kids’ social development, physical health, and academic performance.
In fact, 93% of educators are concerned about the long-term damage hunger can have on our youth.
When children are hungry:
88% are unable to concentrate in school
87% struggle with lack of energy or motivation
65% exhibit behavioral problems
84% have overall poor academic performance
Often times, the foods they have access to pose no nutritional value.
80% of our Club members live at or below the poverty level, limiting their exposure to fresh, healthy foods. The financial limitations on our families force parents to serve fast food or processed and packaged meals.
Our Club is the only place in the city where kids can receive a FREE, nutritious dinner 5 days a week.
Kid’s Café provides approximately 300 youth a day with nutritious meals.
Steve “Tank” Tankinow, our Kid’s Café Director, has been cooking home-style meals for our members for over 17 years, dedicating himself to serving the hungry children in Worcester.
If you’re interested in helping our Club provide dinner 5 nights a week for our kids, please consider making a donation!
How it all Began:
“I’ve been a member of the Boys & Girls Club since I was a kid. To me, it was a safe place. I always felt at home. When I came back as an adult, the sounds and even the smells were the same as I remembered as a kid.
I was inspired to start Kid’s Café as a way of giving back to the community. Because my career has been involved in nutrition, I wanted to do something that provided good, healthy food for kids. I worked with the Worcester County Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club, and formed a non-profit organization. We started by making supper for a handful of kids 17 years ago; now we feed about 300 kids a hot, nutritious meal 2 days a week (3 days a week we are provided meals through the Federal Government). We’re helping keep kids healthy. It’s an important part of the mission of the Boys & Girls Club.
I’ve been fortunate that so many people have volunteered to help, or responded when I called. We’ve had everyone from executives to high school students contributing food or money to buy food. They pitch in as teams to cook and serve. It’s a lot of work to feed 300 kids, but with the community support we always get it done.”- Steven “Tank” Tankinow (excerpt from alumni profile in 2011 annual report)
Fallon Health Opens Food Pantry at Our Club
We’re thrilled to provide our kids with nutritious food while at the Club, but we also want to ensure their health at home.
Fallon Health has opened a food pantry at our Harrington Clubhouse to help our organization further fight childhood hunger.
This crucial addition to our case management department will provide Club families with food and resources during tough times and emergencies such as a death in the family or unemployment.
Several Fallon Health employees volunteered their time to set up the pantry and stock the new shelves with non-perishable items such as canned vegetables, pasta, and cereal.
The pantry will be restocked throughout the year to ensure we can continue assisting our families. The generosity of Fallon Health has enabled our staff to help our families in a new and pivotal capacity.
If you’re interested in donating to our food pantry, please contact Liz Hamilton, Executive Director, at: