The Children’s Lunchbox History

In 2000, the Food Bank of Alaska recognized the problem of the quickly growing number of hungry children in Anchorage and gathered community leaders and organizations to address the problem. At that time there were around 10,000 hungry kids, since then that number has more than doubled to over 22,000.

During the first community discussions Bean’s Cafe was identified as a valuable resource with a wealth of knowledge on reaching the hungry. In 2004, Bean’s Cafe’s board of directors formed a new nonprofit, Kid’s Cafe, and began providing snacks and meals to local community programs. In 2006, Kid’s Cafe officially merged with Bean’s Cafe and was reborn as the program now known as The Children’s Lunchbox.

In 2009, The Children’s Lunchbox introduced a weekend food program at Mt. View Elementary – and since then has grown to include eight Title I elementary schools in Anchorage. New sites are added regularly as we work to feed every hungry child in our community. Our next addition, January 29, 2018 is the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School. 

The Children’s Lunchbox program circa 2011

TCL reaches hungry kids in a variety of ways

First, we provide meals to local community programs serving children. These meals are prepared and delivered to a majority of our partner sites, so that kids can have meals and snacks before and after school.

Secondly, we package and deliver thousands of bags filled with three meals each to eight Title I schools in Anchorage, There are enough bags for every student, to ensure that no child goes home hungry on Friday, when many after-school programs aren’t open and offering meals.

And finally, we are also able to provide meals even when school is out for summer. Our Summer Food Site Program partners with many of the same community programs we partner with during the school year, as well as a few more summer programs for kids. These meals are FREE to those 18 years of age and younger.

Summer Food Program Open Sites

Fairview Recreation Center, 
1121 E. 10th Ave:

June 4- August 10, 2018
Breakfast 10:00-11:00am
Lunch 12:00-1:00pm

Spenard Rec Center,
2020 W 48th Ave:

June 4-August 10, 2018
Lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm
Snack 3:00-4:00pm

Parachutes Teen Center,
5520 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite 102:

May 24- August 10, 2018
Snack 3:00-4:00pm
Supper 5:30-7:30pm

Trailside Heights,
2773 Trailside Loop:

June 4 – July 31, 2018
Lunch 12:00-1:00pm
Snack 3:00-4:00pm

Stephen’s Park,
3200 Latouche St:

May 24 – August 19, 2018
Lunch 12:00-1:00 pm
Snack 3:00-4:00pm

Alaska Youth Advocates (age 13+),
704 W 26th Ave:
May 24 – August 18, 2018
Lunch 12:00-1:00 pm

(For a list of all sites, including enrolled sites click HERE)

Connect with the Children’s Lunchbox: