Dinner is Served!

Excerpt Taken from Jefferson City News Tribune – Angie Hutschreider

The Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City started extending its hours until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and now offers dinner and an evening snack to children. Executive Director Stephanie Johnson said in the almost year since she began work with the center, she’s learned that not all of the kids are fed dinner.

“In trying to have conversations with them, I would ask what they had for dinner last night,” Johnson said. “Soon I learned to ask if they had dinner. Many of them were not eating.”

Johnson said some would tell her stories of walking to convenience stores to get something hot, cooking their own food or simply not eating.
Dinner is served at 4:30 p.m. to ensure the most students get fed. A snack is offered about 6:30 p.m.

Johnson said the program would have cost the organization about $20,000. However, a program through the Department of Health & Senior Services called the Child and Adult Food Service Program will reimburse the Center about $2.99 for each meal served.

Approximately 60 kids are served dinner each day.

“This means there are 60 children who are not going to bed hungry, who will be able to put their best foot forward at school and more,” Johnson said. “I cannot imagine my kids going to bed hungry, and now these parents don’t have to worry about their kids not having dinner either.”

To date, over 2,000 dinners have been served at the Boys & Girls Club.