aspen_banner.jpg
Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
APS will conduct repairs to the power grid for our Mingus transmitter Tuesday, October 4th. 102.5 and 103.3 in the area will experience interruption during this activity. Services are expected to resume by 1 pm local time. Thank you for your patience.

Low Wage America: The New Orleans Kids Cafe

The 2004 St. Philip's School Kids Cafe Mardi Gras King, 7-year-old Quincy Williams.
Noah Adams, NPR
/
The 2004 St. Philip's School Kids Cafe Mardi Gras King, 7-year-old Quincy Williams.
The 2004 St. Philip's School Kids Cafe Mardi Gras Queen, 5-year-old Richae Smith.
Noah Adams, NPR /
/
The 2004 St. Philip's School Kids Cafe Mardi Gras Queen, 5-year-old Richae Smith.

In the days and nights of carnival time, parades fill the streets of New Orleans. The floats are creations of fantasy and satire, with costumed riders throwing bright strings of beads and toys down to the crowds.

A parade could have 20 marching bands, more than 30 floats -- with more than 1,000 riders -- and for the Big Easy, all of this represents millions of dollars flowing through the streets.

But in a section of town known as "Desire," there's a far more modest Mardi Gras celebration. The party takes place in the cafeteria of a church school building on the corner of Clouett and Pleasure streets.

Red beans and rice, fried chicken and corn are on the menu at the Kids Cafe Mardi Gras party. Every Thursday night at St. Philip's School, kids and parents gather for a hot meal, served restaurant style. Kids Cafes are held all over the country, sponsored by America's Second Harvest Food Bank.

As NPR's Noah Adams reports, it's a social event -- but it's also helping families in real need.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Noah Adams, long-time co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, brings more than three decades of radio experience to his current job as a contributing correspondent for NPR's National Desk., focusing on the low-wage workforce, farm issues, and the Katrina aftermath. Now based in Ohio, he travels extensively for his reporting assignments, a position he's held since 2003.