July 07, 2014
Chicago, IL – In an effort to combat child hunger, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is offering a free summer food program, thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation. The program, now in its fourth year, provides nutritious meals and snacks and fun learning enrichment activities to keep youth healthy, active and well-nourished all summer long.
Research shows that more than 30 million children in low-income communities receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year, but only 2.3 million have access to free meals when school is out. To help fill this gap and ensure fewer children go hungry, the Y will serve meals and snacks to hundreds of youth at 11 sites throughout Chicagoland: Kelly Hall Y, McCormick Tribune Y, South Side Y, Rauner Y, West Communities Y, South Chicago Y, Irving Park Y, High Ridge Y, Wabash Y, North Lawndale Y and the Palatine Opportunity Center. At more than 1,100 summer food program sites nationwide, the Y will strive to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 150,000 youth this summer.
“The Y’s summer food program provides youth with a nutritious meal, which is sometimes the only meal they have for the entire day,” said Richard Malone, President and CEO. “The program will serve more than 800 children and help them remain mentally and physically active all summer long, ensuring they start the school year ready to achieve.”
Participants will receive meals and snacks and enjoy various fun activities. To expand its reach to those who are unable to visit the Y, the Buehler YMCA is taking the summer food program out into the community by partnering with the Palatine Opportunity Center to bring healthy meals and snacks and fun activities to youth.
YMCA of the USA is airing nationwide public service announcements to help make sure families are aware of the summer food program, which is part of a year-round effort to fight child hunger in partnership with the Walmart Foundation. In 2013, the Y provided a total of 7.5 million meals to children across the country through afterschool and summer food programs; the YMCA of Metro Chicago served more than 1,000 youth and teens. To learn more about the summer food program, visit ymcachicago.org.
During the school year, the Y will also serve healthy meals and snacks in its afterschool program to provide youth with nourishment and academic enrichment.
About the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
The Y is focused on exercising the potential of each one of us to make healthy choices at every stage of our lives. We’re a non-profit well-known for our 22 member centers, camps, and health and fitness programs. But we’ve also moved wellness beyond the gym to prepare our next generation with the physical, academic and social skills they need to thrive. Our neighborhood base helps strengthen communities through programs offered at hundreds of sites citywide. This work promotes academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living. Come to the Y for personal fitness, sign up for a family program, or play a more active role in our community service mission. When you join the Y, you’re part of something big. To learn more, visit ymcachicago.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Together, they have donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.
Aileen Tormon | 312.404.6022