Nourishing our Communities
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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.
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.
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.
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.