Thursday, August 2, 2012
The YMCA is ‘Serving Up Summer’ with Walmart Foundation to fight child hunger
While summer should be a time of fun, exploration and relaxation, many children are left without the nutrition they need to learn, grow and thrive. More than 21 million children lose access to free or reduced-cost meals once the school year ends, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
To ensure that children in Central Kentucky have access to food year-round, the YMCA of Central Kentucky has been providing free healthy meals and snacks through its summer food program, thanks to three grants totaling $17,500 funded by the Walmart Foundation. The three grants provided supplemental funding for the YMCA’s participation in the Summer Feeding program and resulted in healthy snacks for campers at the YMCA’s Bar Y outdoor camp as well as the day camps at the Jessamine County and High Street YMCAs.
The YMCA partnered with the Walmart Foundation to address child hunger in communities, with a focus on increasing participation in the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals to children aged 18 and under while school is out.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, only in one in seven children who depend on free or reduced-cost meals during the school year received meals though the Summer Food Service Program last summer. This summer, more than 300 YMCAs nationwide will offer summer food programs with a collective goal to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 children. Here in Central Kentucky, the YMCA served over 3,000 meals and snacks to help hundreds of children stay well-nourished.
“For some children in our communities, the end of the school year means end of meals,” said Kelly Easton, Director of the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Child Development branch. “At the Y, we are focused on making sure children stay healthy and well-nourished. Thanks to the partnership with the Walmart Foundation, our Y is be able to provide meals to children in the community who need them most.”
“At Walmart, we recognize the need to support the development of our nation’s youth,” said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. “We know that providing access to healthy meals during the summer months will enable students to return to school healthy, prepared and ready to succeed. By working closely with the YMCA of Central Kentucky, we can help kids have better summers and, ultimately, better lives.”
As part of the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s summer food program, children age 18 and under continued to receive one meal and a snack a day. Not only does this help hundreds of children stay well-nourished, active and energized all summer long, but it also alleviates the strain on family food budgets when school is out. As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the YMCA is focused on ensuring that all children have access to food and maintain good health.
To learn more about the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s summer food program, click here.
From YMCA of Central Kentucky