Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County Breaks Ground on Cafeteria Expansion 

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McKenzie Young

Golden shovels plunged into the ground Thursday, March 1, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, part of a nationwide organization that provides after-school programs for youth, broke ground on its Moseley Center kitchen and cafeteria expansion. The expansion will allow the organization to provide approximately 220,000 healthy meals to children.

The group serves about 3,300 registered members in the county each year, who pay a $25 annual fee which grants access to after school care and meals for kids. The new cafeteria will be able to hold around 300 kids at a time. Before this expansion was approved, the club was out of room.

“The kids were piled into the cafeteria, we had to feed them in shifts … We had more than 70 kids on our waiting list,” said Colleen Braga, executive director of B&GC of Ada County.

The B&GC will now be able to serve all of the participating kids at the same time, and even zero out its waiting list. According to Braga, about 80 percent of the children served at the club are from low income families. With the new expansion, the club is also creating a partnership with the Future Public School, a new STEM-based charter school set to open this fall. The two organizations plan to share space and resources. The expansion will not only create a larger cafeteria, but it will enable room for food storage, food prep and serving areas.

“[The partnership] has served a great purpose, it is a perfect collaboration. And not only that, it is more than just space; it is resource sharing,” said Braga.

The club will use the school gym during off hours, and in return the school will have access to its new cafeteria facilities. Braga said the new partnership and space will be a step towards a “cohesive strategy to work with specific kids who have higher needs.”

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