Youthprise: Bringing Food to the Table!

Beginning in 2014, Youthprise took on an essential role as a hub for the Nutrition Program--- coordinating, recruiting, training and supporting programs to participate in serving snacks and meals year-round.  In 2018, Youthprise supported 52 Nutrition sites across the Twin Cities and served over 253,000 meals to over 4,200 youth. The Youthprise model is designed to eliminate barriers to meal program participation among small to mid-size organizations where there is a great need for assistance in providing meals. The Nutrition Program was sought out to initiate a sponsorship role in Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that would allow youth-serving organizations to reach free meals through federal meals program, thus allowing their money to be put back into program and staffing instead of food for their youth. 

Working closely with the vendor CKC Good Food and the input of the youth served, a vast menu has been created that includes hot, cold, and field trip meals depending on each site’s service abilities and meal preferences.  Additionally, Nutrition Program Staff work closely with each site and their youth to ensure that the program best serves the community. Sites are provided with in-depth training on reporting requirements and meal service processes.  Coordinating between the Nutrition Program Staff, program site, and local officials ensures meals can be easily distributed without taking too much staff time away from the youth.  This supports site staff to focus on providing youth programming, rather than worrying about finding additional time and resources for serving meals.

Youthprise’s Nutrition Program is a part of their Health and Safety focus area. The goal is to promote the health and safety of young people by meeting basic needs and holistically addressing health concerns that impact youth in our communities. When young people are out of school, they shouldn’t have to worry about where meals are coming from. Year-round meals can be provided to youth through trusted locations in the community, including libraries, community centers and churches, where youth are not only encouraged to participate in programming but also have the space to provide input into what is provided. The Nutrition Program currently serves sites within Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, and Anoka County with the goals of serving state wide meals by 2022. 

Enrollment is currently open for After- School meals and will be opening for Summer meals on March 1st, 2019. Programs interested in enrolling should contact Christa@youthprise.org  for more information.