A woman receiving a box of food
May 22, 2023

Providing Plant-Based Meal Kits to Local Families

Between rising food costs, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lack of access to fresh food, putting healthy meals on the table can be challenging for families in the communities we serve.

That’s why YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America and The FruitGuys to pilot a program offering four weeks of ​free meal kits to members of the South and West Side communities. The collaboration aims to develop sustainable, marketplace solutions to increase affordable access to fruits and vegetables in the communities we serve.

Meal kits included all of the ingredients and recipes needed to cook three delicious meals for a family of four and were available for at-home delivery or pickup at several YMCA locations. The free meal kits were available on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 2,000 families per week. Following the four-week pilot, kits were available for purchase at cost-effective prices.

“Showing up for Chicagoland’s families means working together to fill resource gaps and empowering one another to make the healthiest possible choices,” said Shannon Babcock, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “Hand in hand with the Y and our mutual partners, we’re working to alleviate food deserts and live out the Y’s mission to strengthen families and communities — one delicious, healthy meal at a time.”

By the numbers:

  • 2,015 Chicago families (8,060 estimated individuals) 
  • 8,060 meal kits
  • 96,720 plant-forward, culturally-centered meals
  • 266,254 servings of vegetables, legumes, and fruits