Kids Programs

Access to nutritious food is critical to the physical and intellectual growth of young people. The Food Bank has a number of programs in place to support kids' healthy development.

Kids Cafe

Kids Cafe partners with select afterschool programs across the state to serve healthy evening meals to children at risk of hunger. Food Bank chefs and nutrition experts prepare and deliver approximately 400 healthy meals daily, at no cost to our partner sites or to the families they serve.

Our menu is created with kids in mind and incorporates fresh, healthy and culturally relevant meals designed to encourage them to try new foods and enjoy familiar favorites. The program empowers kids to make decisions about their nutrition by giving them the opportunity to vote for the meals they enjoy. Their comments and feedback are directly implemented into our menu development process.

In addition to food, our staff provides tailored nutrition classes for the kids. Classes focus on developing practical, age-appropriate, kitchen skills and nutrition lessons that further instill healthy eating behaviors and preferences.

Kids Cafe Locations

  • Boys & Girls Club of East Providence
  • Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket
  • Pawtucket Family YMCA
  • Segue Institute for Learning, Central Falls

Meet Our Kids Cafe Team

Yesenia Barnier

Director of Community Nutrition

Yesenia Barnier is the Director of Community Nutrition at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She is a Rhode Island College graduate with a degree that integrates the fields of education, wellness, and public health. In addition to her background and experience, Yesenia is bilingual in Spanish and English. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and is passionate about giving back to the community that helped to raise her. In 2017, her passion for nutrition and drive for community work led her to an internship with the Healthy Habits team that eventually turned into a full-time position. Now, Yesenia leads our Kids Cafe program and childhood nutrition programming.

Yesenia  Barnier

Nahami King

Kitchen Manager

Nahami King is the Kitchen Manager at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program. Nahami is an alumnus of our former culinary job training program, Community Kitchen. From there, she worked with Aramark where she mastered the art of cooking by providing daily meals for over 700 children in Cranston’s public elementary school system. In 2021, Nahami was hired by the Food Bank to create and produce meals for the children of our partner Kids Cafe sites. She shares her knowledge of spices and flavors from East Africa and is bilingual in Kiswahili. Nahami’s ability to transform any ingredient into a delicious and healthy meal is inspiring!

Nahami King

Ronald Lewis

Production Chef

Ronald Lewis is a Production Chef at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program. Ron was born and lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado until he joined the Navy and was stationed on the USS Wasp out of Quonset Point, Rhode Island. After his time in the Navy, Ron trained and worked as a chef in local restaurants in Wakefield and West Warwick. Ron joined the Food Bank in 2002, as a Chef Instructor for our former culinary job training program, Community Kitchen. Chef Ron is proud to share that some of his Community Kitchen graduates went on to open their own restaurants! Now, along with Chef Nahami, Chef Ron brings his years of culinary experience and passion for food to the Kids Cafe program, helping to feed hundreds of kids nutritious and tasty after-school meals every day.

Ronald Lewis

Yasbeily Marte

Production Chef

Yasbeily Marte

School Pantries

Providing children and young adults with access to healthy, nutritious food is a priority for the Food Bank. Young people are among the most vulnerable members of our community as their success and development depend on eating well.

The Food Bank has worked with both elementary and secondary schools to open school-based pantries to address the needs of young people seeking food assistance. The sites serve more than 1,000 young people each month, delivering healthy, nutritious food and snacks that students can eat at school or at home.