WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Food insecurity affects millions of Americans of all ages.
River Valley Regional YMCA is working to bridge the gap between child hunger during the summer months.
Many school districts provide free meals to students, but the summer months can be challenging for families facing food insecurity. The River Valley Regional YMCA partnered with the state’s Department of Education and the USDA for their summer food program.
“We have certain guidelines we have to follow as far as what we can serve them, what we can’t serve them. The children receive lunch and an afternoon snack,” said Sandy Bair, Childcare Support Assistant at River Valley Regional YMCA.
This includes foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and sandwiches, which are stored and prepared on-site.
“We utilize the food bank, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and we utilize local food supply vendors,” Bair added.
In Pennsylvania, 1 in 7 children experiences hunger, according to Feeding America. The YMCA’s summer food program supports almost 200 children at no additional cost for families.
“We have a lot of food insecurity in our area and the kids typically don’t get nutritious meals at home so they rely on the meals that they get through our programs,” Bair explained.
They have 3 sites in Williamsport, Lock Haven, and Jersey Shore where kids can grab a meal until school is in session again.