The Y Feeds Kids

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

Last updated: September 5, 2019, at 2:26 p.m. PT

When school’s out, 1 in 5 children in the greater Seattle area 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 helping to ensure consistent access to healthy food in our community. In summer 2019, we expanded our impact by serving over 14,000 meals and over 2,700 snacks in 18 locations!

During the Congressional Recess in August, Representative Suzan DelBene joined us to pass out free lunches at the Kenmore City Hall as part of the Summer Meals Program. Up to 20 children show up here for a healthy meal every weekday throughout summer. Children also participate in a broad number of creative and physical activities and have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers like the Northshore Fire Department and Kenmore Library. Parents are offered freshly made salads to enjoy while their kids enjoy lunch, read, and participate in fun games and crafts. 

As part of the Summer Food Service Program and in partnership with the Kingsgate Library and their librarian team, the Y serves 50 to 70 kids daily who drop by the library every weekday for food and activities. One parent of a child who participated this summer said, "We appreciated the community feel, the financial help while unemployed, the cheerful and fun staff that ran the program, and the non-judgmental atmosphere."

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.