The YMCA of Dane County will be offering its free Summer Food Program thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, according to a release.
The program provides nutritious meals and snacks with fun learning enrichment activities to keep youth healthy, active and well-nourished throughout the summer, officials said.
According to the release, research shows that more than 30 million children in low-income communities receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year, but only 2.3 million of those kids have access to free meals when school is out.
To help fill the summertime gap and ensure fewer children go hungry, the YMCA of Dane County will feed over 700 kids, officials said.
"At the Y we are focused on keeping kids mentally and physically active while ensuring they have access to healthy food so they’re well-nourished and avoid the summer slide," President and CEO of the YMCA of Dane County Carrie Wall said in the release. "The YMCA’s Summer Food Program will help kids stay healthy, active and energized all summer long, ensuring they start the school year ready to achieve."
Participants in the YMCA's Summer Preschool, Discovery Day Camp and Summer Club programs will receive the healthy meals, but to reach more youth the YMCA is taking the Summer Food Program out into the community.
The YMCA of Dane County will be partnering with Leopold Elementary School to bring healthy meals and snacks and fun activities to the children participating in the Summer Learning Loss Program, officials said.
In 2013, The YMCA of Dane County served over 1,000 meals to children and teens in their programs.