Year-Round Food Programs
Nothing is more fundamental to ensuring that children can learn, grow and thrive than consistent access to healthy meals. Youth-serving organizations like the Y are on the front lines of providing healthy meals to children experiencing food insecurity. However, we face the challenge of operating under two separate federal programs in order to provide meals to the same kids all year long.
The Y is a leading provider of the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) thanks to a partnership with Walmart, providing healthy meals and snacks to thousands of kids alongside vital afterschool and summer enrichment activities. Over two years, Ys served over 48.5 million meals and snacks to over 914,000 kids in need at no cost to families.
In 2020, more children and families than ever faced food insecurity. In response, additional Ys started serving meals and experienced Ys dramatically increased service to meet the need. During the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ys served an unprecedented 37 million meals and snacks.
Especially during the summer, these site-based meal programs serve a critical need in communities. In addition to providing healthy meals, they prevent summer learning loss through educational programs, keep kids active and provide a safe place for kids when they’re not in school.
The Summer Meals Act would create a streamlined solution for the Y’s year-round food programs and include other critical improvements, like ensuring Ys can feed all kids experiencing food insecurity in our communities and provide transportation to programs where kids can eat, play, learn and thrive.
- Co-sponsor the bipartisan Summer Meals Act of 2021 (S. 1170 and H.R. 783). The Summer Meals Act will help improve nutrition and enhance learning in underserved areas by streamlining administrative paperwork, investing in transportation, allowing for an additional meal and aligning site location eligibility to match that of other federal education grants.
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Healthy living is public policy priority for the Y. So many children benefit from our programs focused on their well-being. We continue to strive to include even more kids in these supportive initiatives.