Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

May 2020

Ys Respond to COVID-19 With Food Distribution, Child Care Service

YMCAs across the country are meeting their core mission of bringing people together and fostering connections across communities by providing emergency services in response to the impact of COVID-19. Many Ys are providing emergency child care for health care workers and first responders, while others are providing food distribution to address food insecurity for children without access to school meals. In addition, Ys are reaching out to seniors and providing virtual programming to support health and wellness.

Even before COVID-19, more than one in 10 U.S. households faced food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Amidst the school closures and job losses that have resulted from social distancing measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, the number of people facing food insecurity is increasing rapidly. More than 800 Ys and Y-affiliated food distribution sites have responded by providing "grab-and-go" meals, according to the Y's website.

For example, YMCA of Centre County in Pennsylvania has partnered with others in the community to feed kids from seven difference school districts. The YMCA of Greater Boston has served 85,000 meals in its first 10 days of offering food assistance. And the YMCA of Greater Montgomery (Ala.) is feeding 1,000 kids a day through its Brown Bag Bus program.

On top of that, Ys are providing emergency child care at more than 940 locations for families of medical personnel, essential employees and first responders. For example, YMCA of the North Shore in Massachusetts was selected by the state to provide child care to 160 kids, and the YMCA of Orange County in California is providing childcare for essential employees at 28 locations in Orange County and Pomona Valley.

The Y has 2,700 locations serving 10,000 communities across the United States, reaching 22 million people of all ages, incomes, backgrounds and abilities. To learn more, visit

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