The YMCA of Metro Atlanta has received a grant from No Kid Hungry, a campaign from the national nonprofit Share Our Strength, which helps decrease food insecurity among children under the age of six. The nonprofit is investing $3 million nationally in grants to organizations focused on early childhood.
The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is using its portion of grant funds to prepare weekly bags of food for families in the organization’s Early Learning Readiness program, a bilingual mobile program for Hispanic families focused on engaging children in informal preschool programs. During summer, the Y is providing culturally relevant food to approximately 150 families each week with non-perishable items and fresh fruits and vegetables, ensuring families have access to healthy foods.
“The support we’ve received from Share Our Strength is allowing the Y to expand our hunger relief programs,” said Lauren Koontz, president and CEO of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “We are so appreciative for the assistance we are receiving to help our organization continue to meet the critical needs of our communities.”
At one point during the past year, 40 percent of parents of kids under six reported job or income loss related to the coronavirus pandemic. More than one in five parents reported food insecurity in their household. Early childhood is the most intensive period of brain and body development, and hunger and hardship at this age can have long-term implications for children.
“Food insecurity in the early years can have an immediate and lasting impact on overall health, learning, school readiness, and behavior,” says Caron Gremont, Director of Early Childhood for the No Kid Hungry campaign. “These flexible, year-long grants will help organizations provide healthy food to young kids and their families at this critical time.”
The No Kid Hungry grants will serve more than 120 early child care centers, healthcare providers and community organizations. These organizations work with an estimated 170,000 children under the age of five in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 6 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.
About the YMCA of Metro Atlanta
For more than 160 years the YMCA of Metro Atlanta has been impacting lives and strengthening communities. As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has also evolved to meet the changing needs of our community. Well-thought-out planning, while engaging stakeholders at various levels, provides the backdrop for sustainable change and positive impact at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. By providing impactful services and support networks, and building bridges between people from all backgrounds, the Y has maintained its relevance, helping to create stronger, more cohesive communities for all. https://www.ymcaatlanta.org/160