The Y Feeds Kids

Published: September 6, 2018, at 11:46 a.m. PT

Last updated: November 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. PT

When school’s out, 1 in 5 children in greater Seattle go hungry, losing access to the school lunches that they rely on nine months out of the year. So after the last bell rings, the Y steps in.  

Through partnerships that we’ve developed across King and south Snohomish counties, the Y is increasing consistent access to healthy food in our community. In summer 2018, we more than doubled our direct service meals, serving over 14,000 meals and over 950 snacks in 15 locations!

Earlier this summer, Representative Suzan DelBene joined us to pass out free lunches and snacks at the Kingsgate Library in Kirkland as part of the Summer Meals Program. Up to 60 children show up here for a healthy meal every weekday throughout summer. Children also received a free book and parents are offered a granola bar to snack on while their kids enjoy lunch, read and participate in fun activities that the Y hosts in partnership with the library.

As part of the Summer Food Service Program and in partnership with the on-site lunch ladies, the Y serves 80-100 kids daily who attend a 10-week summer camp at the Federal Way Community Center.  “It’s nice that all the food groups are being met,” said Tammy, “I don’t have to worry about my kids only eating grains or protein because they are also getting fruits and veggies. Purchasing healthy food is often very expensive and it take a weight off my shoulders.”

In America, hunger quietly slips under the radar – yet so many are struggling to put food on their tables. 

The need is growing and in partnership with a county-wide coalition with Neighborhood House, United Way, the Boys and Girls Club and other agencies, the Y is focused on closing the hunger gap. We are expanding food security programs to ensure that all have access to healthy food – not just for living a healthy life, but for helping children develop to their fullest potential, and creating more equitable communities for all.