Mayor Judy Cook led the grand opening of the new Kids Café at the Jean Miller Teen Center in Pembroke Thursday, thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Food Lion Charitable Foundation and America's Second Harvest food bank.
The YMCA staffs the Jean Miller Teen Center, and the park just outside was made possible through a $100,000 donation last November by local resident Jeannie McCormick.
Cook said she and Tracy Harvey of America's Second Harvest spoke some time back about a program called Kids Club, and that Harvey said she thought she could help.
"We are very happy to be here. It's great to be in this community. Kids Café is an after-school feeding and tutoring program for low-income children ages 5-17 and is the first established in Bryan County. There are 26 Kids Café sites in Chatham County, two in Liberty and two in Toombs where more than 2,000 children receive a hot supper and help with their studies," Harvey said.
The $10,000 check, presented by Art Holmes of Harvey's supermarket in Pembroke, on behalf of the Food Lion Charitable Foundation allowed the opening of the café at the teen center.
Greg Stafford, Program Coordinator for the YMCA said the program at the teen center services around 25 children aged 6 to 12 years and 13 teen children.
"I'm enthused about being a part of a vision that has been a part of my life for such a long time, and to be able to be a part of such a great team and community that has the desire and concerns for the kids to put them in a place where it's safe, structured and where we can give them a place of security," Stafford said.