Food Programs

The YMCA's food programs work year-round to help address child hunger. Together, we can make sure every child is safe, healthy and fed.

Food Programs

COVID-19 Meal Response

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of children at risk for hunger grew to the highest it’s been in 25 years. Now one in four children does not have access to healthy meals. To assist in this crisis, Ys across the country responded quickly to help feed kids and families through providing Grab and Go meals, grocery delivery and freshly prepared meals.

Meals by the Numbers

  • 11,030 food distribution sites

    From September 2020 through February 2021, 1,254 YMCAs participated in serving food across more than 11,000 distribution sites.

  • 25.3 Million pounds of groceries

    Food boxes were distributed nationwide to those in need between March 2020 and February 2021. For context, the average person eats between 3-5 pounds of food a day. 

  • 1,200,000 Total people fed

    In the fall and winter seasons of 2020-2021, the Y helped feed more than 1.2 million people across the country.

  • 56 Million Total Meals

    Altogether during the pandemic year from March 2020- February 2021, Ys served over 56 million meals and snacks to children, families and seniors.

after school meal program

Afterschool Meal Program

Many families rely on free or reduced-price school meals during the day. But after school, almost 18 million children and teens lack access to healthy food. Thanks to our partnership with the Walmart Foundation, we are able to ensure children have access to nutritious meals during this critical out-of-school time.

We also believe in the importance of active minds and bodies. Ys provide learning enrichment and physical activities, at more than 2,500 out-of-school time meal programs.

child eating at summer food program

Summer Food Program

When the school year ends, children face additional challenges to accessing healthy meals. Our summer food programs provide daily nutrition to improve children's well-being.

parent and child preparing a healthy recipe

Family Friendly Recipes

Cooking at home? Encourage healthy eating habits for your family, and have fun while doing it. Here are our favorite kid-tested recipes submitted by Ys across the country.

Find Your Y

Search below for Ys that offer afterschool meal programs.


More Learning and Growth Outside of School

Healthy eating is just one of our many out-of-school initiatives. Discover more programs that encourage kids to establish healthy habits and develop life skills.

  • Child Care

    To support parents and caregivers, we provide a safe, enriching place for children to learn and grow through our child care, out-of-school time and afterschool programs.

  • Safety Around Water program

    Our safety-focused program allows kids to have fun, build skills and gain confidence in and around water.

  • Healthy Kids Day

    In an effort to keep kids active during the summer, Ys host an annual event where families can learn and play together.