YMCA Offers Summer Food Program to Help Kids Get Their "Fill of Fun"

YMCA of Austin joins the national effort to serve 5 million meals to 150,000 kids and teens, through a partnership with the Walmart Foundation.

Austin, TX, June 28, 2014 --(PR.com)-- In an effort to combat child hunger, the YMCA of Austin will offer its free Summer Food Program, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation. Combining food and fun, the program provides nutritious meals and snacks and fun learning enrichment activities to keep youth healthy, active and well-nourished all summer long. The program runs from June 9, 2014 to August 22, 2014 and is open to kids ages 18 and under.

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 of these same kids have access to free meals when school is out. To help fill the summertime gap and ensure fewer children go hungry, the YMCA of Austin will serve more than 16,000 children in the community this summer alone. 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 kids this summer.

“At the Y, through summer program offerings, we are focused on keeping kids mentally and physically active while ensuring they have access to healthy food so they’re well-nourished,” said Andrew Wiggins, District Executive of the YMCA of Austin. “The YMCA’s Summer Food Program will help kids stay healthy, active and energized all summer long, ensuring they start the school year ready to achieve.”

Participants in the YMCA’s Summer Food Program will receive one meal and one snack per day and enjoy various fun activities. The program will take place at eight different camps and learning centers throughout the Austin area. To reach more youth who may be unable to visit the Y, the four learning centers are “open sites,” which allow any child under 18-years-old to participate.

The participating locations include:

Concordia High School (Pflugerville) Theme Camp
East Communities YMCA Theme Camp
Winn Elementary Theme Camp
Wooten Elementary Theme Camp
Forest Park Learning Center
Heights on Congress Learning Center
Silver Springs Learning Center
Villas on Sixth Learning Center

The YMCA of Austin is partnering with CitySquare to provide the Summer Food Program. CitySquare offers various programs to combat poverty in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Together the YMCA and CitySquare’s Food on the Move program will feed about 300 children each day.

The Y is committed to nurturing the physical, mental and social-emotional development of youth and is working to ensure that all kids have access to nutritious meals, so they can continue to be healthy and thrive when out of school. The YMCA’s Summer Food Program, now in its fourth year, 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 Austin has previously participated in the Summer Food Program in 2013. The Y will continue to serve healthy meals during the upcoming school year in its afterschool program to provide kids with nourishment and academic enrichment. At select learning center locations, one supper will be offered per child each day.

To learn more about the YMCA’s Summer Food Program, contact Andrew Wiggins at Andrew.wiggins@austinymca.org or visit www.austinymca.org/news/combating-hunger-austin.

About the YMCA of Austin

The YMCA of Austin is a nonprofit organization that has served the Austin community since 1953, providing health and wellness, aquatics, youth sports, day camp, childcare, youth leadership, senior services and family enrichment opportunities for more than 64,000 members and 60,000 program participants. More information on the YMCA of Austin is available at AustinYMCA.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.
YMCA of Austin
Leilani Perry
512-322-9622 ext. 137