About Us

1. Introduction:


Dinners for Kids was founded in 2011 by the owners of Ollie’s restaurant, with the goal of fighting childhood hunger with healthy meals. The program provides at risk children in the greater Wyoming Valley freshly prepared, “kid approved” nutritious and balanced dinners in microwave-safe containers, accompanied by fresh fruit. The program delivers for each child six meals per week, year round. The impact of this service is significant. The children do not go to sleep hungry anymore and there is improvement in their behavior and learning ability.


2. Program:


It was over eight years ago that we became aware of the magnitude of childhood hunger. With estimates of 15 million hungry children in our country, 10,500 in Luzerne County, Ollie’s owner decided to found the “Dinners For Kids” (DFK) program, with the goal of fighting childhood hunger with healthy meals.


We learned that, besides the obvious human suffering, childhood hunger has an adverse effect on children’s physical and mental health, their behavior, and their school performance. Talking to teachers and human services officials, we found out that there are many at-risk children whose only decent daily meals are subsidized school lunches, and the same children receive no decent meal at all when school is not in session, which is about half the days of the year! Many children go to sleep every night on an empty stomach, hence the idea of providing these children with freshly prepared, kid-approved nutritious and balanced dinners in microwave-safe containers, accompanied by fresh fruit. We started the program in February of 2011, delivering six meals per week, year round, directly to the children’s homes. The food is prepared at the restaurant and then packaged and delivered to the children’s homes by volunteers. Using Ollie’s buying power, it’s kitchen efficiencies and volunteers to package and deliver the meals, DFK succeeds in producing complete meals for $2.50 per meal, $780 per year per child, far below the Federal rate for children’s meals. An advisory Board was formed, that includes community leaders, educators and clergy.


The participating children are referred to the program by the Schools and Head Start guidance counselors and by case workers at Children & Youth, and once identified, we feed all the minor siblings in the household. Our goal is to feed the children while the parents/care takers are not capable of doing so, but direct them to other social services that can help them get back on their feet. To achieve that, in collaboration with Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, printed information on other local resources, ranging from financial assistance, food banks, mental health services, substance abuse services, housing programs, and other local providers is given to each family. Families are directed to call 211 with other issues that may arise.


To fund the program, the program depends solely on donations and grants. All the funds donated to the program are used for the direct costs of preparing the meals. It is a volunteer-based program, with no paid staff and no facility expenses.




The results to-date have been far beyond the expectations. The teachers and social workers report that there is major improvement in the participating children’s behavior and learning ability. From letters from the families , they have learned that not only do the kids not go to sleep hungry anymore, receiving the dinners apparently also reduces stress in the families, and helps them have a family dinner together, discussing the events of the day, just like any “normally functioning” family. The program received a grant to fund academic research by King’s College about the effect of the program on the participating children’s behavior and school performance. The results were positive.


The program has won numerous awards. It was recognized for its community service by the Interfaith Council of Wilkes-Barre, the local State Senators and representatives, Head Start and others.


Ollie’s restaurant won the 2015 National Restaurant Association “Restaurant Neighbor Award”, as well as the State awards for 2014 and 2015.


The program was built as a system that can be replicated by other food service facilities. Misericordia University and it’s Food Service provider, Metz Culinary management, joined the program in 2016, serving meals to children in need in the Dallas School district. Metz won the 2018 State “Restaurant Neighbor Award”.


The program, out of Ollie’s restaurant and Metz at Misericodia ,is currently serving 170 at-risk children in WVW school district, Dan Flood and Height-Murray Schools in Wilkes Barre, and Dallas School District, for a total of 53,000 meals per year.


Dinners For Kids is a 501©3 organization.


Donations can be send to:
Dinners For Kids
84 S. Wyoming Ave
Edwardsville, Pa 18704
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Facebook: Dinners for kids


Please watch a video about our program:
3 minute version:
3 Minute Version:
10 Minute Version:


Thank you for taking the time to learn about this valuable effort.