It is with mixed emotions that Our Daily Bread is announcing the closure of Kids Club on August 11, 2021.
Though Our Daily Bread is best known as a soup kitchen, Kids Club has been at the heart of our operations for over 30 years. Our founder, Cookie Vogelpohl noticed that many of our soup kitchen guests brought their children with them for meals. As part of our continued hospitality, Cookie started a Reading Corner to keep the children engaged while their parents accessed the food and services they needed. Reading Corner was volunteer-staffed and included whatever games, activities and resources that volunteers were able to provide. This later grew into Kids Café – an afterschool program focused on nutrition for children. Kids Café was operated at Our Daily Bread by the Freestore/Foodbank and became the successful pilot project that launched their larger program. In 2014, Our Daily Bread’s children’s program changed once again, becoming Kids Club, a high-impact, professionally staffed afterschool program.
Since 2014, Kids Club operated Tuesday through Thursday, from 2:30 – 5:00 PM and provided a stable environment to play, learn, craft, do homework and eat a healthy snack.
Prior to COVID-19, Kids Club had 25 children aged 5-12 enrolled in the program. We were forced to close Kids Club during COVID, and a lot changed in that year. Many families were pushed out of the neighborhood due to changes in affordable housing. Many more kids found a fit at other high-quality neighborhood programs such as Wesley Chapel, Golden Gloves Boxing and the Over the Rhine Recreation Center. As a result, we have been averaging only 1-5 children per day since we reopened Kids Club on May 1, 2021.
Our Daily Bread would like to offer a special thank you to Kate Daly who has coordinated Kids Club since 2014, Andi Nicholson, our Kids Club Assistant, and all of the other wonderful people who have worked or volunteered with Kids Club through the years. As we look back on the photos, we know that this was a space for learning, growing, and creating. Most of all, it was a place for FUN, and all of it was rooted in love.