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Programs (continued)

Blount County Kid's Cafe

The program is housed in our kitchen facility in our Parkside Community Center and is operated by volunteers and our Boys/Girls Club Staff. All food is provided by Second Harvest Food Bank and is comprised largely of prepared and perishable food including fresh products. The nutritional balance of the meals served is monitored by Second Harvest staff. The meals will be prepared by staff, volunteers, and sometimes children. The Kids Cafe is a national feeding program designed exclusively to provide meals to disadvantaged children in a safe, accessible, and convenient enviroment. Targeting children who are considered "at risk" and who are under the age of 17, Kids Café seeks to feed children at risk of hunger, provide nutrition education to needy children, and educate the public about the perils of childhood hunger and potential solutions. "According to Nation’s Restaurant, if Kids Café were a restaurant chain, it would be the 79th largest in the United States, ranked ahead of Steak ‘n Shake and Bennigan’s. " There are many ways to get involved either through making a donation to Second Harvest towards Kids Cafe, or Volunteering to help serve meals or organize activities for the children. Kick off day for the Blount County Kids Cafe at Maryville Housing Authority was September 11th. The program will run two days a week throughout the year during our after school program. (Every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00pm in the Parkside Community Center).

Buddy Check

The Buddy Check program has had great success at MHA. A total of 4 volunteers (two at Parkside and two at Mcghee Terrace) routinely check up on some of the elderly and disabled residents to ensure their safety and to make sure their needs are being met. The "buddies" as they are called patrol the area and check for the signs left by the residents that say either they are okay on one side or that they are out. If there is no sign, then that signals to the buddy that there might be something wrong. At that point, there are three procedures the buddies do before going in to check. First, they knock on the door. If there is still no response, then the buddy goes to the office and makes a phone call. If there is no return call after one hour, we get an authorized staff employee to enter the home and check.Three have died since it's inception but thanks to the Buddy Check program, they were not left unattended. Lives have already been saved since the programs inception and as it continues to grow, more lives will be touched.