About the Nutrition Program

Beginning in 2014, Youthprise took on an essential role as a hub — coordinating, recruiting, training, and supporting programs in serving snacks and meals year-round. In 2019, we supported 61 Nutrition sites across the Twin Cities and served over 284,000 meals to over 6,000 young people ages 6 – 18. The Youthprise model is specifically designed to eliminate barriers to participation where there is a great need for assistance in providing meals. Youthprise was sought out to initiate a sponsorship role in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that would allow small to medium-sized youth-serving organizations to serve free meals through federal nutrition programs, thus allowing their money to be put back into program and staffing instead of food for their youth.
Our Nutrition Program is a part of our Health and Safety focus area. Our goal is to promote the health and safety of young people by meeting basic needs and holistically addressing health concerns that impact youth in our communities. When young people are out of school, they shouldn’t have to worry about where meals are coming from. Year-round meals are provided to youth at trusted locations in the community, where youth are not only encouraged to participate in programming but also have the space to provide input into their menus. The Youthprise Nutrition Program provides meals at public libraries, recreation centers, faith communities, schools, and local youth-serving nonprofits.

The Nutrition Program Team

Christa DeBoer

Nutrition Program Director
Christa, a Dietetics graduate, leads Youthprise's Nutrition Program, overseeing all aspects and supporting participants. Reach out for her extensive nutrition expertise. She credits her success to relationships with strong women.

Colleen Woodford

Nutrition Program Manager
Colleen, Nutrition Program Manager at Youthprise, oversees meal sites, conducts visits, handles compliance, and offers staff training. With a 2015 Nutrition degree, she served with Americorps in Utah. Contact Colleen for info on regulations, becoming a site, and perhaps an occasional bad joke.

Abby Kelsch

Nutrition Associate
Abby, with a recent BS in Nutrition Science, is a Nutrition Associate at Youthprise, collaborating with the Program Director and Coordinator. She's continuing her education to become a Registered Dietitian. Abby enjoys planning trips, hammocking, rollerblading, trying new foods, and photography.

Luckie Vang

Nutrition Program Associate
Luckie completed his BS in Nutrition Science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Spring of 2023. Although Luckie initially wanted to pursue a career as a Clinical Dietitian, he has realized that his passion aligns with the community. He started as an intern at Youthprise but is now officially a Nutrition Associate, working to improve food access and fight against food insecurity.

For Youth and Families

Current Nutrition Hub Sites (Updated in Real Time) Afterschool meals - All Youth must attend programing to receive a meal

Find Meals for Kids Using the "Free Meals for Kids" Application

To find open locations, download the Free Meals for Kids by Hunger Impact Partners. The app is free for Android and iPhone.

• Download the Free Meals for Kids app to your cell phone.

• Use the app to find the nearest site providing meals and meal packs by GPS.

• Click on the nearby site and use the Meals Updates tab for more details.

It is updated regularly.

Our Growth Stats

2015

10 Nutrition Program Sites Established 67,000+ meals served!

2016

23 Nutrition Program Sites Established 125,000+ meals served!

2017

40 Nutrition Program Sites Established 223,000+ meals served!

2018

52 Nutrition Program Sites Established 253,000+ meals served!

2019

60 Nutrition Program Sites Established 284,000+ meals served!

For Youth Organizations Interested in partnering with Youthprise to apply for federal meal support? Find out if you qualify!

Join other sites across state of Minnesota in serving well-balanced and nutritious meals to the youth of Minnesota. Eligible organizations include libraries, recreation centers, schools, churches, community centers, and more! Sites must be in a school data area or census area where 50% or more of the youth served that fall within poverty levels.

Easy Electronic Reporting
Access to training and technical support
Hot and cold meal options
Directly-delivered meals
Culturally-specific menus
Regularly-adjustable meal quantities
A 21-day menu cycle
Flexible scheduling
Bagged meal options for field trips
Prepackaged meal options for libraries

For Donors and Funders What Makes Youthprise Different?

Young People

Young people are involved in all aspects of our work. Youthprise employs summer youth Nutrition Interns to support sites and coordinate the program. Additionally, Youthprise equips sites with the tools to ensure that young people have opportunities not only to be served, but to be a part of leading the program.

Local Communities

Youthprise works with local community partners who already have relationships with young people. Through these partnerships, Youthprise provides meals to youth in over 5 counties and is looking to serve state-wide in the future.

Youth & Local Vendors

Youthprise works with youth and local vendors to develop culturally-relevant menus that youth enjoy while still meeting the program requirements.

Holistic Approach

Youthprise takes a holistic approach to nutrition. Through collaborative efforts with our partners; we provide additional research, nutrition education, physical activity programming, and agricultural education to more holistically address food insecurity for Minnesota youth.

To join this success story

Donate to Youthprise and select “Nutrition Program” from the list of options. Did you know $5 will feed one kid a snack and a meal?
• Download the Summer Eats app to find a summer meal serving program near you;
• Participate in the local census to ensure your community qualifies for federal meals;
• Reach out to a local community center to see if they qualify to serve meals;
• Ask your local policymakers to increase their support for the program; or
• Contact the Nutrition Team at nutrition@youthprise.org to learn more!

Youthprise is proud to be an equal opportunity provider. This program is supported by the Minnesota Department of Education, the United States Department of Agriculture, and other funders and partners.

Non-Discrimination Statement