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

Nourishing our Communities

Watch more Y stories

  • Nourishing our Communities: Stories from the YMCAs Food Program

    YMCAs across the U.S. have been feeding kids and families for years with the help of partners like the Walmart Foundation. With hunger rates on the rise, they’ve found new ways to meet the increased demand.

    Catch a preview from four Ys that have found creative ways to feed the unique needs of the communities they serve and join us throughout Hunger Action Month (September) as we share their individual stories.

  • Osage Prairie YMCA

    The Osage Prairie YMCA went from serving 40 kids a week to 2,400 during the COVID-19 pandemic. See how the efforts of a few dedicated staff and volunteers helped this small, rural Y ensure that their community didn’t go hungry.

    Disclaimer: During the COVID-19 pandemic, newly offered resources allowed Ys to be more flexible in meeting community hunger needs, like with the Osage Prairie YMCA’s Grocery Grab program. While some of these flexibilities are no longer available, the Y continues to advocate for their permanent adoption.

  • YMCA of Greater Long Beach

    The YMCA of Greater Long Beach serves a diverse community in Southern California, so they partnered with local faith leaders to ensure that kids and families could access nutritious food that respects their dietary and cultural needs. Watch their incredible work in action.

  • YMCA of Silicon Valley

    People often think of Silicon Valley as a land of wealth and innovation. However, many families in the community are facing food insecurity. See how Silicon Valley YMCA partners with libraries and other community hubs to provide nourishing food and enriching activities for kids all summer long.

  • Yonkers Family YMCA

    Yonkers Family YMCA is not new to fighting hunger. For years, they’ve served Y residents, seniors after their workout, kids and teens in youth programs, and neighbors who visit their food pantry. Learn how they scaled up their services during the pandemic to ensure that their community’s growing needs were met.

Meals by the Numbers

  • 5,700 food distribution sites

    Ys served food across 5,700 distribution sites in 2021, including mobile deliveries, libraries, schools and other community hubs.


  • 38 Million pounds of food

    In 2021, Ys distributed 38 million pounds of food across 5,700 locations throughout the U.S. For context, the average person eats between 3-5 pounds of food a day. 

  • 1,000,000 Total people fed

    Over 1 million people were fed by Ys in 2021. 



  • 46.7 Million Meals and Snacks

    Children, families and seniors received over 46.7 million meals and snacks from Ys in 2021.

Ask the Senate to prioritize Child Nutrition Reauthorization!

It has been 12 years since the Child Nutrition Act has been updated, and we are well overdue for much needed improvements and updates to this important bill that helps kids in every neighborhood thrive. 

Take action today to tell Congress: We should apply the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to help Ys and other trusted community organizations feed more kids year-round! 

Afterschool Meal Program


Many families rely on free or reduced-price school meals during the day. But after school, almost 11 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.

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.

Help Provide Healthy Meals in Your Community

The Y relies on donations from individuals and corporate partners to ensure that no child has to worry about where their next meal will come from. Please donate or reach out to [email protected] to learn how you can support these efforts today.


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 a Y near you and contact them to learn about their food programs. 


More Learning and Growth Beyond 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.