Beyond skyrocketing unemployment rates, the COVID-19 global pandemic has created food insecurity for the low income preschoolers and their families that our YMCA serves in Greater Long Beach. People who are food insecure are disproportionally affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and according to research, food insecurity is also linked to many adverse effects to overall health.
Y Staffers preparing delicious meals of the grab & go drive through meals that happened March 30 – June 30.
While our preschools remained opened to essential workers after schools closed in the spring, our daily in-person attendance decreased by 90% due to unemployment, coupled with safety concerns and families opting to keep children at home with older siblings. We knew that eating well is part of supporting a healthy immune system, and we felt responsible for providing our preschool children with the same nutritious prepared meals they were used to getting daily before this all happened.
These are weekly 20 lb. box of fruits and veggies, made possible by Food Forward ongoing donation.
Nonperishable food for our ECE Summer Food Pantry (July & August 2020) made possible from No Kid Hungry grant.
From March 30 - June 30, we provided many of our families with daily drive through grab & go prepared breakfast and lunch meals. In July and August, thanks to grants and donations from two nonprofit organizations, No Kid Hungry and Food Forward, we have created a weekly ECE Summer Food Pantry, where families are given nonperishable items such as rice, cereal, soup, nuts, canned fish and poultry, as well as a 20 lb. box of fresh fruits and vegetables weekly. Families have responded with deep appreciation for this unexpected support. As preschool providers, we too are grateful, because we know that we are living up to our mission of social responsibility and it feels great to help those who need it most!