More than 37 percent of the Regional Food Bank's emergency food recipients are children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 37,700 children received nearly 3 million meals through our Food for Kids programs. Because there is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development, even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature can negatively impact a child's health, behavior and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks. Going without food can cause behavioral and psychological effects such as depression, aggression, anxiety and poor social skills in children. Food is the most essential school supply. Hungry children cannot learn.

The Regional Food Bank serves children directly through four programs in its Childhood Hunger Initiative: Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding and School Pantries.  To learn about each of these programs, click on the links below.