Hunger is an invisible challenger that hides in plain sight leaving many to believe that it doesn’t exist in their own community. According to California Food Policy Advocates, the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout are increasing food access inequities, especially among Black and Latinx people.
There is a deepening need to advocate and address the immediate need for food and recognize racial inequality as a root cause of poverty and hunger.
The Y identified and acted immediately on this need in different communities we serve around San Diego County. As a united front, YMCA of San Diego County, San Diego Hunger Coalition, and San Diego Unified School District came together to feed children in the City Heights area at the Copley-Price Family YMCA. Using a collective impact model approach, each organization used its expertise to ensure healthy, nutritious meals were made and delivered the Y location on a daily basis.
The Y started serving these meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) on November 9th, 2020 to students in the Preschool, Academic Enrichment Program and Part Day Enrichment Program at no cost! Many of these children may not have been able to receive a nutritious meal otherwise.
IMPACT FOR 25 DAYS:
- 8,750 Lunches served
- 5,625 Breakfasts served
- 5,625 Suppers served
Total Meals Served over 25 days = 20,000
WHAT WE LEARNED
The Food Program efforts mentioned above works to strengthen communities through our 3 focus areas of impact: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Although the Y is part of the solution, we cannot overcome this dilemma alone. We need your help to advocate and create sustainable access to year-round healthy food for children in San Diego County. Please help to ensure all children have access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food as the country recovers from COVID-19 and after.
By increasing access to nutritious meals during in- and out-of-school time, the number of food-insecure children can be reduced. The Y is presently looking into new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our communities and help all families become food secure through our preschools, enrichment programs, and community partners.
If you have any questions or are interested in partnering with us in this effort, please contact Jake McGough, Sr. Social Services Program Director at [email protected].
CHILD CARE HEALTH SERVICES PROGRAM
YMCA Childcare Resource Service is committed to opening the doors to education, training, and technical assistance for child care professionals to improve the quality of their services. Our Health Services team works closely with early childhood programs to enhance health and wellness in an effort to decrease childhood obesity.
Jake McGough is the Sr. Social Services Health Program Director in the Resource and Referral Department at the YMCA Childcare Resource Service. For the past 16 years, he has helped to strengthen communities by increasing the knowledge of our childcare providers through health and wellness efforts.