The Y is ‘Serving Up Summer’ with Walmart Foundation
The Y is ‘Serving Up Summer’ with the Walmart Foundation to Fight Child Hunger
The Wabash County YMCA joins national effort to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 children to help keep them well-nourished
[Wabash, IN 6/29/2012] – 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 (USDA). To ensure that children in Wabash County have access to food year-round, the Wabash County YMCA is offering free healthy meals and snacks through its summer food program, thanks to a $15,000 grant funded by the Walmart Foundation.
The Y has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to address child hunger in communities, with a focus on increasing participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), 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 SFSP last summer. This summer, more than 300 Ys nationwide will offer summer food programs with a collective goal to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 children. Here in Wabash County, the Y plans to serve about 9600 meals and/or snacks to help about 300 of children stay well-nourished.
“For some children in our communities, the end of the school year means end of meals,” said Bill Barrows, Senior Program Director, Wabash County YMCA. “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 will 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 Wabash County YMCA, we can help kids have better summers and, ultimately, better lives.”
As part of the Wabash County YMCA’s summer backpack food program, children aged 18 and under will continue to receive two meals a day for the weekend. Not only will this help hundreds of children stay well-nourished, active and energized all summer long, but it also will alleviate 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 Y is focused on ensuring that all children have access to food and maintain good health. Our backpack program piggy backs the Wabash City School’s summer food program in which the YMCA is a site location.
Nationally, the Y is a partner in the Walmart Foundation’s 2012 Summer Giving Campaign, which has committed more than $20 million in grants to expand nutrition, learning and employment programs for elementary, middle and high school students in more than 350 communities. The Walmart Foundation contributed a $5 million grant to YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) to address child hunger. Y-USA, in turn, passes the funding along in the form of grants to participating YMCAs.
To learn more about the Wabash County YMCA’s summer food program, visit ymca.net/summer-food-program OR wabashcountyymca.org or check out the Wabash County YMCA Facebook page.
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.