Each summer, officials at the CAER food shelf in Elk River say there are local children who go hungry because they no longer have access to the free or reduced breakfasts and lunches available to them during the school year. This is the fifth year that CAER has worked to overcome this gap by offering “Kidz Kitz” to families with school-age children.
According to Carmen Pouliot, CAER’s executive director, Kidz Kitz is a weekly summer supplemental food program that strives to provide healthy and kid-friendly foods – enough to feed two children breakfast and lunch for five days. The program is funded in part by grants from Three Rivers Community Foundation, a component fund of the Initiative Foundation, and the Wright Hennepin Cooperative Trust.
“Last year, CAER served more than 900 children, and 457 families with Kidz Kitz,” said Pouliot. “We know that there are at least 1,100 more children in our service area who receive free/reduced breakfasts and lunches and who could benefit from this summer program. We also know that transportation issues are the primary reason preventing many families from receiving Kidz Kitz.”
She said CAER is determined to get Kidz Kitz to all the children in CAER’s service area who need them so, to relieve some of the transportation barriers this year, CAER has established a pick-up site in Zimmerman. CAER is collaborating with Faith Pantry and Faith Community Church on the pick-up location.
People who live in Zimmerman and wish to take advantage of the Zimmerman pick-up site for Kidz Kitz may call CAER at 763-441-1020.