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February 13, 2018 > Celebrating 25 Years Empowering Hayward Families

Celebrating 25 Years Empowering Hayward Families

Submitted By Simon Wong

In 1992, educator Dr. Marlena Uhrik was visiting a soup kitchen at a recovery center in Hayward. Her life changed when she saw children standing in line. On asking why they were there, she was told ?These kids are hungry and have nowhere else to go.? It was summer, when school was not in session. That was when Dr. Uhrik realized hunger is an issue for many children; in numerous cases, the school lunch is their only meal. What happens to these children during the vacations? This question was the driving force for the creation of TKBC (The Kids Breakfast Club).

Satisfying the basic need for food, Dr. Uhrik founded TKBC which provides breakfast and activities during the school vacations. Salvation Army officers, Lieutenants Drew & Nancy Helms were the program?s initial supporters; TKBC?s first event served 200 breakfasts to low-income children and their families at The Salvation Army Hayward in December 1992. Subsequently, Dr. Uhrik expanded the program to include educational and healthcare opportunities such as arts and crafts, a literacy program, health and dental screenings and referrals. She also introduced parent-education workshops, such as gang prevention, nutrition, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, parenting skills and first-aid and CPR. By 2003, TKBC was available at five locations and had served more than 30,000 breakfasts.

?The partnership provided children with education, nutrition, positive social influences and spiritual nourishment. One life at a time, youth were given a chance to grow and reach their potential. I remember coming one Saturday morning to The Salvation Army to see families excited to eat a good meal, learn about reptiles while holding them and meet their Congressman Pete Stark who fully supported the vision that was cast and fulfilled,? says Nancy Helms. ?The Salvation Army recognized Dr. Uhrik?s vision with its Service to Humanity Award.?

When Dr. Uhrik became an Education Consultant to the California Department of Education, Mark Salinas accepted the position of Executive Director of TKBC. ?TKBC is a grassroots response to a local, state and national issue ? child and family hunger ? and has worked hard alleviate the problem locally. We?re indebted to our corporate and private donors and our committed volunteers,? says Salinas. ?Our volunteer-base consists of high school students, college and university students and corporate partners; each morning, 25 people serve at Glassbrook Elementary School and Burbank Elementary School. We?ve served around 100,000 breakfasts since 1992. Today, literacy activities and referral services are available to families in the Hayward area. We?re truly a community-based organization and have positively impacted kids? well-being. We?re fortunate to have worked with people with big hearts. I look forward to another 25 years.?

The Kids? Breakfast Club (TKBC) will celebrate its Silver Jubilee with a breakfast at Stonebrae Country Club, on Sunday, February 25, 2018.

The Kids? Breakfast Club
25th Anniversary Breakfast
Sunday, February 25
10:00 a.m. ? 12:00 p.m.
Stonebrae Country Club
202 Country Club Dr, Hayward
(510) 300-5744
Tickets: $75 each
Sponsorship opportunities are available

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