The Y is Striving to Make Youth in Hopkins County Hunger Free
Full Bellies = Full Potential. The Y is committed to nurturing the potential of all youth, and making sure they have access to nutritious foods is part of that commitment.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, around 16.7 million children receive free or reduced-cost meals through the National School Lunch Program, but only 2.3 million of these kids continue to receive meals through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. As part of the Y’s commitment to nurturing the potential of all youth, the Y and Wal-Mart Foundation are partnering to provide 4.7 million meals and snacks to 200,000 kids and teens at 1,100 locations in communities throughout the nation this summer. Any child 18 and under can participate in the program to get their “fill of food and fun” — receiving nutritious meals and snacks, while also enjoying recreational and learning activities to keep their bodies and minds active.
Our local YMCA has a significant impact on our national YMCA food program initiative. We currently sponsor a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). According to the Kentucky Department of Education, 66% of the children in Hopkins County receive free and reduced lunch during the school year. This is a significant percent of children in our county and proves the importance of operating the SFSP during the summer and the CACFP during the school year. The programs allow children 18 and under to have access to free nutritious food when school is not in session.
SFSP: The SFSP program ran for eight weeks last summer. During that time, the YMCA sponsored 45 feeding sites throughout Hopkins County. This allowed the YMCA to serve 48,372 meals to 3,858 kids! This wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our community partners, volunteers, and summer staff that run our summer feeding sites. The 2016 SFSP program will run from June-July and we will host our annual Back-to-school Bash before school starts in August. A list of 2016 summer feeding sites can be found at the Y near the end of May and will also be posted to our social media pages.
CACFP: The Y currently sponsors eight CACFP programs. We sponsor six afterschool programs and have partnered with the Madisonville Community College and the Christmas Palooza community Christmas event. Children participating in the CACFP programs receive a nutritious snack or meal along with an enrichment activity. The CACFP feeding sites can run during the week, weekends only, Holidays, school breaks, and can even be used as a community outreach for churches serving meals on Sunday mornings and/or Wednesday nights.
For more information about these programs or how you can open a SFSP or CACFP feeding site in 2016, please contact Tori Wallace at 270-821-9622.