Y Inspired-Summer Food Program



See the FOX 21/27 news story here

No child should go to bed hungry in a community with a Y. This summer, the Y did its part to address hunger by offering more than 60,000 nutritious meals and snacks to thousands of young people.

For more than 21 million children, the end of school means the end of access to nutritious meals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). To ensure that children in the Roanoke Valley have access to food year-round, the Kirk Family YMCA, YMCA Magic Place and Gainsboro Family YMCA offered free, healthy meals and snacks through its SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM, thanks to a $30,000 grant funded by the Walmart Foundation.  Here’s how we did it.

Kirk Family YMCA’s Teen Food & Fun Program
There’s a lot that teens can discover during the summer months, and the Y is here to make sure they are engaging in safe and healthy activities that will help them learn, grow and thrive.  That’s why we invited teens ages 13-18 to join us weekdays from 12am-3pm for lunch and an afternoon of adventure and activities at the Y. Hundreds of teens received lunch and then played in the Y-ARCADE, our interactive gaming area. 

Gainsboro Family YMCA’s Summer Food & Reading Program
Without adequate nutrition and enriching summer activities, students in impoverished areas fall behind academically even more than the average student. The Gainsboro YMCA was here to help with its Summer Food & Reading Program. Each week day teens had access to a free lunch, free books and guided reading groups.  This program literally fed our future leaders with healthy food and activities to help bridge the summer education gap.

YMCA Summer Camps
More than 60,000 meals and snacks were served just to our summer campers.  In our camps, we helped make kids healthier by minimizing screen time and eliminating sugary drinks while maximizing fruits and vegetables and physical play time.  Our Wal-Mart Foundation grant allows us to help subsidize the cost of summer camp for qualifying individuals, giving us the opportunity to serve more low-income children with enriching activities and healthy meals.

Strong kids have bright futures.  This is just one of the many ways the Y is truly strengthening our communities.