Outdoor Café offers meals, activities
July 18, 2019
A lunch program for local youths, Outdoor Café, is underway for the summer.
Right now they are serving about 35 kids, but they have the capacity to feed many more, according to organizer, Suzanne Holmes.
Numbers are growing, Holmes said.
Kids can also ride a special Wahkiakum on the Move route to eat and participate in activities in Cathlamet or Rosburg, or they can have a meal delivered to them. So far, no one has taken advantage of this resource, according to Holmes.
The kids are not only getting a good meal that includes fresh vegetables from the school garden, they get to participate in challenges, play, and just be kids.
“It’s fun to see the kids playing together,” Holmes said.
There are books, games, special projects like birdhouse building. There is an imagination station, Christmas in July and ornament making, painting rocks, and making wooden quilt blocks.
Some kids are on the go, and get a bagged lunch, but the others who choose to stay, get a tray and are allowed to select the items they want. Volunteers are finding this leads to less waste.
“Step up Your Game,” which encourages kids to walk five miles before school starts in the fall. Health and Human Services has provided pedometers for everyone, so they can keep track of their miles;
“Read to Lead,” a challenge to get youths to read five hours this summer. There is a table of donated books. Kids can take as many as they want, read them, keep them, bring them back, or even donate some more from home, and
“Be of Service.” This final challenge will get the kids into the garden, weeding and harvesting, or picking up garbage around campus, making bookmarks, or maybe cleaning up a nearby cemetery or beautifying a local resident’s home.
The kids are learning about recycling and composting as well.
“This is a 100 percent volunteer, grass roots, community response,” Holmes said. “It started several years ago with Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, but when Danielle Hobbs left, they needed someone to step in.”
Current partners include Kiwanis, the Wahkiakum School District, the community center, Health and Human Services, First Interstate Bank, and an army of volunteers.
Meals are served Monday-Thursday, July 8- August 8 from 12-2 p.m in the J.A. Wendt Elementary School Multipurpose Room. Kids are encouraged to eat between 12 and 12:30 p.m., but if they come in late, they will still be served.
In Rosburg at Johnson Park, kids are welcome Monday-Thursday from 12-2 p.m. from July 15-August 15.
For more information, contact Holmes at 360-430-3771.