Pizza. Ham and cheese sandwiches. Chinese take-out. Nachos with chili-cheese sauce.
Every afternoon at the Collings Teen Center, plates of hot food begin materializing in the hands of hungry teenagers. During the 2013-2014 academic year, more than 3,000 of those meals were served at the teen center – and it never cost any of the students a dime.
It’s all part of the center’s Late Lunch program, providing free meals for every student every day we’re open. Most teenagers come home from school hungry. But in West Sacramento, the need runs a little deeper than simply after-school snack pangs.
Among youth who frequent the Collings Teen Center, more than ¼ report that they routinely have just one meal a day – often at school, where ⅔ of West Sacramento students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs. Late Lunch meets one of the most basic needs of West Sacramento teenagers, and does it in a manner that is unfamiliar to many of them: consistently and abundantly.
The CTC partners with Yolo County Food Bank to obtain much of the food we serve.