Patient Meals, Kay Kafe and Other Food Information

Patient Anijah at the Kay Kafe cafeteria at St. Jude

Patient Meals

St. Jude offers help with the cost of meals for the patient and one (1) parent by issuing a St. Jude Meal Card or a grocery store gift card.

Meal cards are activated for the number of days and meals for which the patient is eligible. The card can be programmed for up to seven days in a row. The meal card is programmed for specific dollar amounts and time periods. These amounts and times depend on the type of meals requested—breakfast, lunch, or dinner—and on the patient’s status—inpatient or outpatient. You can use the meal card at the hospital cafeteria for all meals. However, St. Jude meal cards cannot be used off campus.

When families check in at Tri Delta Place, their meal cards will be activated to serve as room keys, as well. When issued, two meal cards are programmed so each family will have two room keys. The meal cards are reusable, so please deposit your inactive meal cards at the front desk when checking out of Tri Delta Place. You can also place your used, inactive meal cards in the cafeteria drop box or in the drop box at the Patient Services window. 

St. Jude offers grocery store gift cards to patient families staying in Ronald McDonald House or Target House. Parents can request the grocery store gift cards weekly in Patient Services, Monday–Friday 9 am–3:30 pm. A family’s weekly allotment of gift cards may vary depending on where the patient is staying. A parent at the Ronald McDonald House or Target House may choose to receive a St. Jude meal card instead of a grocery store gift card if the patient becomes an inpatient. If the patient’s status changes in the middle of the week, the meal card can be traded in for a grocery store gift card.

Local patients and those staying in short-term lodging are not eligible for grocery store gift cards.

Where to Eat

Seating in the Kay Kafe

The hospital cafeteria is on the first floor of the ALSAC Tower, which is the building next to and connected to the Patient Care Center. The main hallway on the north side of the Patient Care Center will lead you to the Kay Kafe. Just before you reach the Kay Kafe, you will see a Starbucks Coffee® stand and a group of vending machines, ATM machines, a bill changer, microwave ovens and a few tables and chairs.

St. Jude Cafeteria hours

Monday through Friday
Breakfast: 7–11 am (Hot food line closes at 10 am)
Lunch: 11 am–4 pm (Hot food line closes at 2 pm)
Dinner: 4–7 pm: (Deli, pizza areas open 11 am - 7 pm)

Weekend and Holidays
Breakfast: 7:30-10 am (Hot food line closed at 10 am)
Lunch and Dinner: (Deli, pizza areas open 11 am - 7 pm)
Please note: The cafeteria accepts cash, St. Jude meal cards, MasterCard, Visa.
To call Food Service, dial 595-3307 or page #1689.

Snack Bags

Snack bags are offered free for outpatients while at St. Jude for treatment. You first pick up snack bag tickets in the Patient Services office when you arrive. Each snack bag contains three snack items and a beverage.

Registered Dietitians

Registered dietitians are here to offer you advice and ideas about your child’s nutritional needs. They can also help you with food-related problems. You can reach the dietitian for your primary clinic by calling the Clinical Nutrition office at 595-3318.

Food Safety

You may eat your meals in the hospital room with your child, but opened food must be thrown out after one hour in a patient room. After that amount of time, bacteria that could be harmful to your child can grow on the food.

Food cannot be stored in your child’s room. Food attracts insects that can transmit disease.

Food prepared outside the hospital and brought to your child’s room should be stored in the Nutrition Center refrigerator on each floor. Write your child’s name and the current date on each food item container. Unused food will be removed every three days or right away if it is spoiled.