By Renee Quinn
Ensuring children have healthy meals this summer is a top priority of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties. Many free and reduced lunch recipients don’t have access to healthy meals during the summer, but the Y is solving this again. A unique open-site summer meal program offered by the Y allows children to visit one of three participating sites in Pierce County, Monday through Friday to receive a balanced meal. Receiving a meal simply requires a child to be present, even if they are not a summer camp participant.
YMCA Camp Seymour prepares meals on-site and transports them to local program sites. Each meal meets healthy eating standards and trained Y staff engage children in educational conversations around the origins and health benefits of their food. “We are excited to provide freshly prepared and healthy meals to all children,” says YMCA Senior Director of Day Camp Nicole Larson.
Participating families reported large benefits last summer after children were given healthy meals and the convenience of not having to pack a lunch. The Y provides quality summer camp programming to families throughout Pierce County. “The encouragement from staff and other campers brings us back each summer,” says YMCA camper’s mom.
Summer food program participating sites:
- Lakewood Family YMCA | 9715 Lakewood Dr SW, Lakewood
- Mel Korum Family YMCA | 302 43rd Ave SE, Puyallup
- Morgan Family YMCA | 1002 S Pearl St, Tacoma