For Hometown News
While summer should be a time of fun, exploration and relaxation, many children are left without the nutrition they need to learn, grow and thrive. More than 21 million children lose access to free or reduced-cost meals once the school year ends, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To ensure that children in Volusia County have access to food year-round, the Y is offering free healthy meals and snacks through its summer food program, thanks to a $45,000 grant funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation.
The Y has partnered with the Wal-Mart Foundation to address child hunger in communities, with a focus on increasing participation in the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals to children aged 18 and younger while school is out. The Food Research and Action Center officials say, only in one in seven children who depends on free or reduced-cost meals during the school year received meals though the program last summer. This summer, more than 300 YMCAs nationwide will offer summer food programs with a collective goal to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 children. Here in Volusia County, the Y plans to serve 31,000 meals and/or snacks to help 700 children stay well-nourished.
The sites at the following addresses are open to the community, and any child under 18 years old can participate in free lunch from 12:30-1 p.m.
.Ormond Beach Family YMCA, 500 Sterthaus Drive, Ormond Beach, (386) 673-9622
. DeLand Family YMCA
761 E. U.S. Highway 92, DeLand, (386) 736-6000
.Port Orange Family YMCA, 4701 City Center Parkway, Port Orange, (386) 760-9622
.Four Townes Family YMCA, Pine Ridge Fellowship First Church Campus, 1045 E. Normandy Blvd., Deltona, (386) 532-9622
. Southeast Volusia Family YMCA, 148 W. Turgot Ave., Edgewater, (386) 409-9622
To learn more about the Y's summer food program, visit ymca.net/summer-food-program or http://vfymca.org/globals/summer_food_program.