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Happy National Mac and Cheese Day!

Let's celebrate an all-time favorite comfort food — mac and cheese. St. Jude kids love it too.

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Kay Kafe yellow mac and cheese


When is National Mac and Cheese Day?

National Macaroni and Cheese Day is July 14. St. Jude patients chow down on mac and cheese from our beloved Kay Kafe.

Make a dish or order from a favorite restaurant while thinking of the kids of St. Jude.

image of Kay Kafe on the St. Jude campus

The Kay Kafe atrium


Kay Kafe and community

We eat mac and cheese at the St. Jude Kay Kafe year-round. Kay Kafe is the central dining area for patients, doctors, researchers and staff at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Take a Virtual Tour of Kay Kafe


When in treatment, some patients may lose their appetite, while others have specific cravings. Because good nutrition is essential for St. Jude kids, chefs prepare a variety of meals.

Chefs even create dishes for individual requests — like making a Cheetos pizza for a patient who had to have a blood transfusion on her birthday; or calling another patient’s grandmother to get the recipe for her mac and cheese.

St. Jude patient Ashley choosing a food item at Kay Kafe

St. Jude patient Ashley in line at Kay Kafe (2018)


No two grandmas are alike, and neither are their recipes. We recreate taste memories to help our patients build their appetites or to help them be closer to those they love.

M. Vetro, St. Jude Executive Chef

St. Jude sickle cell patient Elani with her mom.

One grandma gave us a recipe with buttered breadcrumbs and cheese and a chunk of fontina in the middle. That was my favorite of them!

R. Farmer, St. Jude Executive Chef

Kay Kafe-prepared white green chili macaroni

Kay Kafe-prepared white green chili macaroni


There are two variations of Kay Kafe mac and cheese — traditional yellow macaroni and white green chili macaroni. 

St. Jude kids can enjoy this delicious dish because of support from generous donors.

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.


Every dollar makes a difference.

Donate Today

  1. $5 could help St. Jude provide snack bags for patients and their siblings.*

    Art by Breken, sibling of St. Jude patient Dakota

    Art by Breken, sibling of St. Jude patient Dakota

  2. $10 could help St. Jude provide a new toy for hospital play areas or recreational areas at St. Jude housing facilities.*

    patient Tam playing with clay with his sister

    St. Jude patient Tam with his sister

  3. $22 could help St. Jude provide rehabilitation 
     to help improve
    patients’ quality of life.*

    St. Jude patient Trinity with a physical therapist

    St. Jude patient Trinity with a physical therapist (image taken prior to 2020)

  4. $30 could help St. Jude provide a St. Jude family with meals for one day in the Kay Kafe.*

    St. Jude patient Maryelle with her mom

    St. Jude patient Maryelle with her mom (2019)

  5. $57 could help St. Jude provide necessities for parents who may have hurriedly left home after their child’s diagnosis.*

    art by St. Jude patient Calvin

    Art by St. Jude patient Calvin

  6. $100 could help provide a red wagon, which is the the preferred mode of travel through the halls of the hospital for our youngest patients.

    St. Jude patient Kingston (right) with his brother (left)

    St. Jude patient Kingston (right) with his brother (left)


*When you make a donation using this information, your donation will be used to provide breakthrough research, treatment and cures.  Items listed here are representative of services and supplies that are part of the treatment and care of children at St. Jude.  The cost of each item or service is an approximation, and will vary based on actual costs incurred and individual patient needs.  Your donation will be used for the general operating needs of St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, lodging, travel or food.

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