Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive To Help Feed Families

The Hockomock Area YMCA welcomes donations to the sixth annual Stop &a Shop Healthy Futures Food Drive, which will take place at all three Hockomock Area YMCA branches and at locations within the community March 9th to April 15th. This work is part of the Y’s Healthy Futures Initiative, a commitment to promoting physical activity and nutrition to improve health outcomes for youth and communities, which is generously supported by Stop & Shop.

Over the last year, the Y has worked collaboratively with school districts and food pantries to create take home food programs onsite at local schools. Today there exist 34 school-based pantries in Bellingham, Franklin, Hopedale, Mansfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sharon and Wrentham alone—representing a 90% increase in one year. While local food pantries provide a critical service in our communities, school-based food pantry options can complement community offerings. 

Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive  To Help Feed Families
Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive  To Help Feed Families
These models allow students to discreetly access a supply of healthy food directly from their schools, especially prior to the weekend when there are often challenges with reliable sources of healthy meals. Additionally, school personnel who know the children and families in the district can help to identify those who may be in need of this service or who may not be comfortable accessing a traditional food pantry.

Collections from the food drive will be delivered to the schools by YMCA staff and volunteers and will go a long way to reduce child hunger and alleviate household food insecurity. Having healthy food available at schools removes challenging barriers to food access for busy families, such as long work hours and transportation. Members of the community can directly support local students by donating healthy, kid-friendly food to the 2020 food drive.

Suggested items include: oatmeal cups/packets, macaroni & cheese boxes/cups, granola bars (nut free whole grain preferred), applesauce or mandarin orange cups (no added sugar), whole grain crackers, tuna pouches in water (low sodium), Progresso chicken soup (low sodium), rice boxes/cups, Barilla Ready Pasta and pasta boxes. Grocery store gift card donations can also be made in person at the YMCA Member Service Desks.

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