Many dads across New Jersey want one thing this Father’s Day. They want to be able to put food on the table for their families.
We spoke with fathers at Kean University Learning Adventures (KULA) in Hillside, one of our Kids Cafe sites serving about 150 children, and they told us what the afternoon meal we provide means to them.
Robert knows what it’s like coming home to no dinner. Raised by a single mom struggling to make ends meet, there were days he would sleep on an empty stomach. He works hard to make sure his 14-year-old son, Ryan, never experiences such hunger.
The after-school program allows Robert to guarantee his son has something to eat to help him focus on his homework and keep him going until his pick-up time.
“I’m supposed to be there for him,” said Stanley, another dad whose 13-year-old son, Stevens, is enrolled at KULA.
The program helps Stanley, who takes on many jobs to provide for his family, because it is a safe environment for Stevens to learn and have a healthy meal.
In the past year, KULA has transitioned from giving students snacks to feeding them substantial meals from the FoodBank and is even signed up as one of our summer food sites.
José’s daughters were part of the program before it became one of our Kids Cafes, and he has heard from his girls what a difference the afternoon meals make in helping them focus on their homework.
He told us he is grateful that his kids, 12-year-old Janelle and 15-year-old Anjel, have a place to learn and eat a healthy meal after school.
Floyd is another dad who said it’s a relief that his 12-year-old son, Nicholas, has something to eat in the afternoon. He has been unemployed since a car accident left him with injuries, and he has been doing what he can to provide for Nicholas.
“When kids get hungry they don’t concentrate like they’re supposed to,” Floyd said. “[KULA] means a lot. It helps out not only us, but for them.”
When Nicholas gets home, he is not usually hungry because of the healthy and filling Kids Cafe meal he receives, which is a relief for Floyd.
With Father’s Day coming up, a lot of dads don’t want a new tie or toolbox; they just want to feed their children. You can work with us to help struggling fathers put food on the table for their kids by donating now.