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Kids Summer Eating Made Easier with the Y-USA Summer Food Program

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Summer break can impact the family budget in a huge way. The increase in the use of utilities, plus the consumption of more food can put a strain the usual flow of the household. There is a constant struggle to balance the desire to provide a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner for kids, with making sure that there’s money left to last until the next payday.

Having three growing children in my house, I know this struggle firsthand. A tight financial budget does not have empathy for rumbling tummies. I have to do whatever it takes to maximize every dollar at the grocery store.

I am fortunate in that I have the luxury of grocery store options and the financial means to buy foods to create healthy meals every time. However, there are many families that are not so lucky. Food deserts – large areas with a lack of ample healthy food options – are rapidly increasing. In fact, no community is safe from food insecurity; it exists in every county in the United States, ranging from 4 percent of the population in Slope County, ND to 33 percent in Humphreys County, MS.

Having to feed a family of any size day and night is tough without adequate resources to do so. I took the Food Desert Challenge with my household for one day just to get a better understanding of what it’s like. Restricting myself to only twenty dollars to buy food to cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the five of us in our household was tough. I bought a carton of eggs for breakfast, and a few pounds of spaghetti and sauce to cover lunch and dinner, along with a few vegetables. While such meals were okay, the twenty dollars was not enough to create three nutritiously-balanced meals for a family of five.

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Y-USA Summer Food Program

 

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That is why I’m glad that summer programs like the Y’s Summer Food Program exist. This summer, The Y and Walmart Foundation are partnering to provide meals and snacks to kids up to 18 at 1,500 locations in communities throughout the nation. As part of YMCA’s commitment to keeping kids healthy, the Y-USA Summer Food Program provides kids with the opportunity to receive the nourishment they need, while also enjoying recreational and learning activities to keep their bodies and minds active.

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 Y-USA Summer Food Program

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It is sad to think that in this day and age, so many families rely on school meal programs to ensure their kids eat three square meals a day during the school year. However, it is good to know that initiatives like the Y-USA Summer Food Program are around to help lift burden during the summer months to make parents’ jobs a little easier.

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To Learn more, visit the Y-USA Summer Food Program Website. You can also connect with Y-USA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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Stacie

It hurts my heart to think about childhood hunger. I can’t believe in this day and age that there are still children out there who don’t always know they’ll have a meal.

Pam
Pam

The Y summer food program has several locations near me. It’s great that they offer healthy meals to kids who might not otherwise get them.

Brandy

What a great food program! I love that they offer food and learning activities over the summer!

Val
Val

This really is a great program, I had no idea about it. I am going to see if there are any around me, would be really cool to know about this option for kids.

Liz Mays

It’s awesome that they’re helping children in need like this. I love that the Y’s Summer Food Program is making such a difference.

Nikki
Nikki

Wow, I like to experience this program. This is really nice as it helps parents to make their children eat healthier foods.

Jeanine
Jeanine

This sounds really awesome. What a beneficial program that I am sure so many kids will benefit from!

kristin
kristin

This is so important for kids. I just took a challenge that taught our daily a lot about hunger in our country.

Kristi
Kristi

Sounds like a great program. I love to support programs that benefit kids.

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